Mers vaccine 'a step closer', say scientists
An effective vaccine to protect against the Mers virus is a step closer, say scientists.
An effective vaccine to protect against the Mers virus is a step closer, a report in the journal Science suggests.
European scientists genetically modified a version of the smallpox vaccine to display Mers virus protein on its surface.
The vaccine was able to protect camels - the animal reservoir for the virus - from developing Mers virus symptoms.
Experts hope the vaccine might stop the virus spreading in camels and may also protect humans at risk from infection.
Mers-coronavirus infection of humans was first described in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Since then there have been more than 1,600 reported cases. More than a third of reported infections have resulted in death.
Individuals with other illnesses - such as diabetes, long term lung disease or kidney failure - are particularly prone to developing life-threatening symptoms.
Virus spread is limited to people who have close contact with those who are infected, such as family members and healthcare workers.