Investigation of anti-middle East respiratory syndrome antibodies in blood donors and slaughterhouse workers in Jeddah and Makkah, Saudi Arabia, fall 2012

Asad S Aburizaiza, Frank M Mattes, Esam I Azhar, Ahmed M Hassan, Ziad A Memish, Doreen Muth, Benjamin Meyer, Erik Lattwein, Marcel A Müller, Christian Drosten
Journal of Infectious Diseases 2014 January 15, 209 (2): 243-6
Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a novel, potentially zoonotic human coronavirus (HCoV). We investigated MERS-CoV antibodies using a staged approach involving an immunofluorescence assay (IFA), a differential recombinant IFA, and a plaque-reduction serum neutralization assay. In 130 blood donors sampled during 2012 in Jeddah and 226 slaughterhouse workers sampled in October 2012 in Jeddah and Makkah, Saudi Arabia, 8 reactive sera were seen in IFA but were resolved to be specific for established HCoVs by discriminative testing. There is no evidence that MERS-CoV circulated widely in the study region in fall 2012, matching an apparent absence of exported disease during the 2012 Hajj.

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