[Source: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]
Volume 25, Number 5—May 2019 / Research
Risk Factors for MERS-CoV Seropositivity among Animal Market and Slaughterhouse Workers, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 2014–2017
Ahmed Khudhair1, Marie E. Killerby1 , Mariam Al Mulla, Kheir Abou Elkheir, Wassim Ternanni, Zyad Bandar, Stefan Weber, Mary Khoury, George Donnelly, Salama Al Muhairi, Abdelmalik I. Khalafalla, Suvang Trivedi, Azaibi Tamin, Natalie J. Thornburg, John T. Watson, Susan I. Gerber, Farida Al Hosani1, and Aron J. Hall1
Author affiliations: Abu Dhabi Department of Health, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (A. Khudhair, M. Al Mulla, K.A. Elkheir, W. Ternanni, Z. Bandar, F. Al Hosani); Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, Abu Dhabi (M.E. Killerby, S. Weber, M. Khoury, G. Donnelly); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia, USA (M.E. Killerby, S. Trivedi, A. Tamin, N.J. Thornburg, J.T. Watson, S.I. Gerber, A.J. Hall); Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, Abu Dhabi (S. Al Muhairi, A.I. Khalafalla)
Camel contact is a recognized risk factor for Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection. Because specific camel exposures associated with MERS-CoV seropositivity are not fully understood, we investigated worker–camel interactions and MERS-CoV seroprevalence. We assessed worker seroprevalence in 2 slaughterhouses and 1 live-animal market in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, during 2014–2017 and administered an epidemiologic survey in 2016 and 2017. During 2014–2017, we sampled 100–235 workers, and 6%–19% were seropositive for MERS-CoV at each sampling round. One (1.4%) of 70 seronegative workers tested at multiple rounds seroconverted. On multivariable analyses, working as a camel salesman, handling live camels or their waste, and having diabetes were associated with seropositivity among all workers, whereas handling live camels combined with either administering medications or cleaning equipment was associated with seropositivity among market workers. Characterization of high-risk exposures is critical for implementation of preventive measures.
Keywords: MERS-CoV; Human; Camels; Seroprevalence; UAE.