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MERS Jeddah Camel and Case Sequences
Recombinomics Commentary 19:00
November 12, 2013

To complete the investigation extensive environmental/animal contact sources were pursued. Camels owned by the patient which were symptomatic with fever and rhinorrhea were tested for MERS-CoV and tested positive.

Gregory Härtl ‏@HaertlG 33m
.@hniman @ECDC_Flu @Fla_Medic @WHO #MERS #nCov #coronavirus yes, + for 2 pts. And yes, as I understand it, same primers as for humans. @WHO
The above comments (in blue) are from today's Ziad Memish post at ProMED describing symptoms of camels and a positive result for MERS CoV (although it is unclear if more than one camel was positive).  The comments in red are from a Gregory Hartl tweet stating that it was his understanding that the PCR test used two sets of primers which matched the primers used in testing of human cases.
These comments strongly suggest that the camel and case sequences will be virtually identical (>99.9%) because the set of primers used for MERS testing in humans is very specific and all human sequences to date have been >99.5% identical to the MERS-CoV consensus sequence (and even higher for clade B sequences, which has been the clade identified in all human cases since July 2012.)
Since the case (43M) and camel(s) are still alive, a source of viral RNA should not pose a problem and full sequences from the camel(s) and case are expected.  However, initial partial sequences should already be generated and such sequences would confirm that the match between case and camel are likely to be >99% for the full sequences.
Thus, although full sequences will remove all doubt about inter-species transmission between camels and people, partial sequences should be released to demonstrate the significance of PCR positives for the case and camel(s). 

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