Thus far, no human MERS-CoV infections have been reported from Israel. Evidence for the circulation of MERS-CoV in dromedaries has been reported from almost all the countries of the Middle East, except Israel. Therefore, we aimed to analyze MERS-CoV infection in Israeli camelids, sampled between 2012 and 2017. A total of 411 camels, 102 alpacas and 19 llamas' sera were tested for the presence of antibodies to MERS-CoV. Our findings indicate a lower MERS-CoV seropositivity among Israeli dromedaries than in the surrounding countries, and for the first time naturally infected llamas were identified. In addition, nasal swabs of 661 camels, alpacas and lamas, obtained from January 2015 to December 2017, were tested for the presence of MERS-CoV RNA. All nasal swabs were negative, indicating no evidence for MERS-CoV active circulation in these camelids during that time period.

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One Health
Department of Virology

David, D. (Dan), Rotenberg, D. (Ditza), Khinich, E. (Evgeny), Erster, O. (Oran), Bardenstein, S. (Svetlana), van Straten, M. (Michael), … Davidson, I. (Irit). (2018). Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus specific antibodies in naturally exposed Israeli llamas, alpacas and camels. One Health, 5, 65–68. doi:10.1016/j.onehlt.2018.05.002