Journal of Animal Health and Production

Research Article
J. Anim. Health Prod. 8(2): 50-54
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Mohammed S. Gaddafi1, Olufemi O. Faleke2, Yusuf Yakubu2, Bashiru Garba2*, Ibrahim A. Musawa2, Abadulkadir U. Junaidu2, Abdullahi A. Magaji2, Bello Rabiu Alkali, Muhammad A. Aliyu1

1Department of Epidemiology, Ministry of Animal Health, Husbandry and Fisheries. Kebbi State, Nigeria; 2Department of Veterinary Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto. Sultan Abubakar Road, City Campus Complex, Sokoto State, Nigeria.

Abstract | Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) is a recently discovered coronavirus that surfaced in the Middle East. This newly identified coronavirus is an emerging zoonotic pathogen that causes acute, severe respiratory disease in humans with a case fatality above 40%. Despite the high seroprevalence of MERS-CoV antibodies recorded in camels slaughtered at Nigerian abattoirs (82%-96%), coupled with the fact that majority of camels in Nigeria tends to originate from neighbouring countries, scanty or no report of MERS-CoV infection exist as regards camels coming into Nigeria through international animal control posts. Therefore, this study was aimed at determining the status of MERS-CoV antibodies in camels crossing Kamba and Kangiwa international animal border control posts in Kebbi State, Nigeria. A total of 180 serum samples obtained systematically from camels at Kamba, and Kangiwa international animal border control posts were examined for the presence of MERS-CoV antibodies using an antibody-based recombinant enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (rELISA). The overall seroprevalence of MERS-CoV in camels was 19.4% (35/180). Among these 35 positive camels, 19.65% (23/117) were male while 19.04% (12/63) were she camels. 19.69% (13/66) were adults over three (3) years of age while 19.29% (22/114) were young camels less than three years. Chi-square test exhibited no relationship (p > 0.05) between risk factors (i.e., area, age, sex, management system, production system, and herd size) and prevalence of MERS-CoV antibodies in camels. Howebver, the detection of MERS-CoV antibodies in camels sampled from both international animal border control posts suggests that camels coming into Nigeria are harbouring the infection. Further research should focus on identifying the similarity between MERS-CoV viral isolates in Nigeria and clinical isolates from the Middle East and elsewhere.

Keywords | MERS-CoV infection, Kebbi state, Nigeria, Seroprevalence, Camels, Zoonoses