Researchers recently found that a vaccine for Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) has seen successful results in camels.
MERS is a potentially deadly infection that begins in camels but can be transmitted to humans. Because the infection transmits from camels to humans, it is logical to create a vaccine that will protect camels from the infection. This would, in turn, protect humans from contracting the virus.
"We have been able to show, for the first time, that our vaccine can significantly reduce the virus load in infected camels," Gerd Sutter, lead virologist of the study from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich, said.
The results show the new vaccine contains a gene that that can weaken the virus by entering the protein and weakening the poxvirus strain. These modified poxviruses are crucial to eliminating MERS. While previous studies have proved that vaccines are successful in protecting mice from MERS, this is the first direct test involving camels and a MERS vaccine.
"In this group of animals, the vaccine had induced the development of sufficient amounts of antibodies to inhibit viral multiplication and prevent the appearance of disease symptoms upon infection," Asisa Volz, a member of Sutter's group, said.