Asymptomatic Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus infection in rabbits

Bart L Haagmans, Judith M A van den Brand, Lisette B Provacia, V Stalin Raj, Koert J Stittelaar, Sarah Getu, Leon de Waal, Theo M Bestebroer, Geert van Amerongen, Georges M G M Verjans, Ron A M Fouchier, Saskia L. Smits, Thijs Kuiken, Albert D M E Osterhaus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The ability of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) to infect small animal species may be restricted given the fact that mice, ferrets, and hamsters were shown to resist MERS-CoV infection. We inoculated rabbits with MERS-CoV. Although virus was detected in the lungs, neither significant histopathological changes nor clinical symptoms were observed. Infectious virus, however, was excreted from the upper respiratory tract, indicating a potential route of MERS-CoV transmission in some animal species.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6131-5
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Animals
  • Asymptomatic Diseases
  • Coronavirus Infections
  • Cricetinae
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Lung
  • Mice
  • Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus
  • Rabbits
  • Respiratory System
  • Virus Shedding
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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