Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus experimental transmission using a pig model

J. Vergara-Alert, V. S. Raj, M. Muñoz, F. X. Abad, I. Cordón, B. L. Haagmans, A. Bensaid, J. Segalés

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12 Citations (Scopus)


© 2017 The Authors. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases Published by Blackwell Verlag GmbH Dromedary camels are the main reservoir of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), but other livestock species (i.e., alpacas, llamas, and pigs) are also susceptible to infection with MERS-CoV. Animal-to-animal transmission in alpacas was reported, but evidence for transmission in other species has not been proved. This study explored pig-to-pig MERS-CoV transmission experimentally. Virus was present in nasal swabs of infected animals, and limited amounts of viral RNA, but no infectious virus were detected in the direct contact pigs. No virus was detected in the indirect contact group. Furthermore, direct and indirect contact pigs did not develop specific antibodies against MERS-CoV. Therefore, the role of pigs as reservoir is probably negligible, although it deserves further confirmation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1342-1345
JournalTransboundary and Emerging Diseases
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017


  • MERS-coronavirus (MERS-CoV)
  • Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)
  • emerging diseases
  • pig
  • transmission


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