[Source: US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]
Volume 25, Number 10—October 2019 / Synopsis
Transmissibility of MERS-CoV Infection in Closed Setting, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 2015
Maria D. Van Kerkhove1 , Sadoof Aswad, Abdullah Assiri, Ranawaka A.P.M Perera, Malik Peiris, Hassan E. El Bushra, and Abdulaziz A. BinSaeed
Author affiliations: Institut Pasteur, Paris, France (M.D. Van Kerkhove); Ministry of Health, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (S. Aswad, A. Assiri, H.E. El Bushra, A.A. BinSaeed); Jubail General Hospital, Riyadh (S. Aswad); The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China (R.A.P.M. Perera, M. Peiris); HKU-Pasteur Research Pole, Hong Kong (M. Peiris)
To investigate a cluster of Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) cases in a women-only dormitory in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in October 2015, we collected epidemiologic information, nasopharyngeal/oropharyngeal swab samples, and blood samples from 828 residents during November 2015 and December 2015–January 2016. We found confirmed infection for 19 (8 by reverse transcription PCR and 11 by serologic testing). Infection attack rates varied (2.7%–32.3%) by dormitory building. No deaths occurred. Independent risk factors for infection were direct contact with a confirmed case-patient and sharing a room with a confirmed case-patient; a protective factor was having an air conditioner in the bedroom. For 9 women from whom a second serum sample was collected, antibodies remained detectable at titers >1:20 by pseudoparticle neutralization tests (n = 8) and 90% plaque-reduction neutralization tests (n = 2). In closed high-contact settings, MERS coronavirus was highly infectious and pathogenicity was relatively low.
Keywords: MERS-CoV; Seroprevalence; Serology; Saudi Arabia.