Emerging Infectious Diseases

Topics: DNA, Saudi Arabia, RNA Pages: 2 (535 words) Published: August 22, 2013
Unit 9 Assignment 1: Emerging Infectious Diseases

The source of human infection with Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus remains unknown, but molecular investigation indicated that bats in Saudi Arabia are infected with several alphacoronaviruses and betacoronaviruses. Virus from one bat showed 100% nucleotide identity to virus from the human index case-patient. Bats might play a role in human infections [1]. Since Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) was described in September 2012, over 90 cases have been reported worldwide, 70 from Saudi Arabia. The incidence on infection with the causative agent, betacoronavirus, has not been determined; however the mortality rate among those who received clinical care is about 65%. Although instances of human-to-human transmission have been documented between case-patients and others in close contact, the sources of infection for most patients remain unknown [1]. In October 2012 and April 2013, three agencies collected samples from bats in regions where MERS cases had been identified. The agencies are the Ministry of Health of Saudi Arabia, the Center for Infections and Immunity of Columbia University, and EcoHealth Alliance. During the October investigation, the team interviewed the family of an index case-patient in Bisha and collected samples from bats <12 km from his home, in an abandoned date palm orchard, and <1 km from his place of employment, a hardware store that fronted a garden and date palm orchard. Although neither family members nor employees recalled seeing bats, the team observed roosting bats and guano in abandoned wells and ruins within 12 km of his home and insectivorous bats at dusk in the garden behind his store. During the 3 week April investigation, fecal samples were collected on tarps laid out at bat roosting sites in and around Bisha, Unaizah, and Riyadh. Representative animals at each roosting site were captured, identified morphologically, and released after wing punch...

References: 1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. /eid/article/19/11/13-1172 article.htm#comment
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