Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Why palm tress in the MERS-CoV acquisition model...?

Click to enlarge. See more at earlier post.
I have palm trees drawn in as a sort of focus for my hypothetical acquisition model for the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). 

I first posted this graphic back in late August. It shows ways in which humans might acquire/have acquired the (probably) occasional MERS-CoV infection from an (suspected) animal host/intermediate host.

You can probably see from that paragraph, that this is just some crazy thoughts and there are no data that link them together.

I was recently asked why the palm trees? My thinking here was that date palms, and perhaps other flowering trees, may attract insectivorous bats as well as providing shade, and perhaps water if nearby, for animals and humans. This could create a point of cross-over between species - even if they don't directly co-mingle there may be opportunity to come in contact with contaminated excreta, saliva or partially eaten fruit or bugs.