Modelling of the Spread of MERS-CoV

11 Jul 2018, 11:30
New Law School/--106 (University of Sydney)

New Law School/--106

University of Sydney

Oral Presentation Minisymposium: Reproduction Numbers Reproduction numbers


Ms Qianying Lin (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)


Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has been persistent in the Middle East region since 2012. Abundant scientific evidence showed that dromedary camels are the primary host of the virus. Majority of human cases (i.e. 75% or 88%) are due to human-to-human transmission, while the others are due to camel-to-human transmission. Mathematical modelling of MERS-CoV camel-to-camel transmission was lacking. Using the plug-and-play likelihood-based inference framework, we fitted a susceptible-exposed-infectious-recovered-susceptible model of camels to the reported human cases with a constant proportion of human cases from camels (i.e. either 25% or 12%). We considered two scenarios: (i) the transmission rate among camels is time-varying with a constant spill-over rate from camels to human, or (ii) the spill-over rate is time-varying with a constant transmission rate among camels. Our estimated loss-of-immunity rate and prevalence of MERS-CoV infections among camels largely matched previous serological or virological studies, shedding light on this issue. We recommended including dromedary camels in animal surveillance and control of MERS-CoV in Saudi Arabia which could help reduce their sporadic introductions to humans.

Primary author

Ms Qianying Lin (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)


Dr Daihai HE (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University) Ms Alice, PY Chiu (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University) Mr Shi Zhao (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University)

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