Serological evidence of MERS-CoV and HKU8-related CoV co-infection in Kenyan camels

  • Wei Zhang (Contributor)
  • Zheng Xiao-Shuang (Contributor)
  • Bernard Agwanda (Contributor)
  • Sheila Ommeh (Contributor)
  • Kai Zhao (Contributor)
  • Jacqueline Lichoti (Contributor)
  • Ning Wang (Contributor)
  • Jing Chen (Contributor)
  • Li Bei (Contributor)
  • Yang Xing-Lou (Contributor)
  • Shailendra Mani (Contributor)
  • Kisa J. Ngeiywa (Contributor)
  • Yan Zhu (Contributor)
  • Ben Hu (Contributor)
  • Samson Omondi Onyuok (Contributor)
  • Yan Bing (Contributor)
  • E. Anderson Danielle (Contributor)
  • Ning Wang (Contributor)
  • Peng Zhou (Contributor)
  • Zheng Li Shi (Contributor)



<p>Dromedary camels are important reservoir hosts of various coronaviruses, including Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) that cause human infections. CoV genomes regularly undergo recombination during infection as observed in bat SARS-related CoVs. Here we report for the first time that only a small proportion of MERS-CoV receptor-binding domain positive (RBD) of spike protein positive camel sera in Kenya were also seropositive to MERS-CoV nucleocapsid (NP). In contrast, many of them contain antibodies against bat HKU8-related (HKU8r)-CoVs. Among 584 camel samples that were positive against MERS-CoV RBD, we found only 0.48 (8.22%) samples were also positive for NP. Furthermore, we found bat HKU8r-CoV NP antibody in 73 (12.5%) of the MERS-CoV RBD positive and NP negative samples, yet found only 3 (0.43%) of the HKU8r-CoV S1 antibody in the same samples. These findings may indicate co-infection with MERS-CoV and a HKU8r-CoV in camels. It may also raise the possibility of the circulation of a recombinant coronavirus virus with the spike of MERS-CoV and the NP of a HKU8r-CoV in Kenya. We failed to find molecular evidence of an HKU8r-CoV or a putative recombinant virus. Our findings should alert other investigators to look for molecular evidence of HKU8r-CoV or recombinants.</p>
Date made available24 Oct 2019
PublisherFigshare - T&F

Cite this

Zhang, W. (Contributor), Xiao-Shuang, Z. (Contributor), Agwanda, B. (Contributor), Ommeh, S. (Contributor), Zhao, K. (Contributor), Lichoti, J. (Contributor), Wang, N. (Contributor), Chen, J. (Contributor), Bei, L. (Contributor), Xing-Lou, Y. (Contributor), Mani, S. (Contributor), Ngeiywa, K. J. (Contributor), Zhu, Y. (Contributor), Hu, B. (Contributor), Onyuok, S. O. (Contributor), Bing, Y. (Contributor), Danielle, E. A. (Contributor), Wang, N. (Contributor), Zhou, P. (Contributor), Shi, Z. (Contributor) (24 Oct 2019). Serological evidence of MERS-CoV and HKU8-related CoV co-infection in Kenyan camels. Figshare - T&F. 10.6084/m9.figshare.10033007