Helen Branswell has recently published Camel vaccine against MERS could slow human to camel infections.
In its 10th meeting hold on september 3rd, IHR Emergency Committee of WHO addressed a couple of things related to vaccine:
- International collaboration to develop human and animal vaccines and therapeutics should be accelerated.
Laboratories have launched their battle-field researchers in order to be the first to produce a vaccine against MERS; whatever the vaccine would be?
Since 2012, Virology and Epidemiology have brought on the table a lot of information about the virus itself, a coronavirus, same family of SARS virus.
As of today we know how MERS is operating as an infectious disease, hosted by dromadary camels mainly in Middle-East (>90% infected), starting by a zoonosis then spreading human to human through clusters in household or nosocomial infection in the hospitals.
Two kinds of infected (by Mers-Cov) population have emerged in KSA:
- symptomatic:either elderly or People with underlying poor medical conditions or chronic diseases including but not limited to diabetes,chronic renal failure, cardio-respiratory diseases or immunosuppressed
- asymptomatic:healthy carriers
Identifying healthy carriers, asymptomatic ones is based on positive testing, sometimes in link with health risks exposure like camels herds owners, slaughterhouse workers, or health care workers (HCW). Even if prevalence is quite low, we have identified a life cycle for Mers infection and outbreaks (see chart).
It is not the purpose here to review the conditions for nosocomial outbreak at the hospitals; see: Follow-up of the nosocomial #MERS outbreak in Riyadh,KSA
Knowing that, how could we prevent MERS from spreading both at community hospital level and at household level? Would it be realistic to vaccine the entire KSA population or only People at high risks? Would such a vaccination program prevent actually MERS from spreading?
Or do we focus on the source of MERS Coronavirus, I mean dromadary camels and manly young calves under 5 years old? It would make more sense with a long lasting and sustainable outcome to prevent Mers coronavirus from jumping outside of animal to human; in other words to prevent a zoonosis?
The answer seems obviously understood in the question…KSA MOH is supporting and sponsoring the idea of an animal vaccine by working hard on this issue.