The ability of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) to infect small animal species may be restricted given the fact that mice, ferrets, and hamsters were shown to resist MERS-CoV infection. We inoculated rabbits with MERS-CoV. Although virus was detected in the lungs, neither significant histopathological changes nor clinical symptoms were observed. Infectious virus, however, was excreted from the upper respiratory tract, indicating a potential route of MERS-CoV transmission in some animal species.,
Journal of Virology
Department of Virology

Haagmans, B., van den Brand, J., Provacia, L., Stalin Raj, V., Stittelaar, K., Getu, S., … Osterhaus, A. (2015). Asymptomatic middle east respiratory syndrome coronavirus infection in rabbits. Journal of Virology, 89(11), 6131–6135. doi:10.1128/JVI.00661-15