Epidemiology and Infection

Original Papers

Viral/rickettsial fevers

The seroprevalance of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever in people living in the same environment with Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever patients in an endemic region in Turkey

I. KOKSALa1 c1, G. YILMAZa1, F. AKSOYa1, S. ERENSOYa1 and H. AYDINa1

a1 Karadeniz Technical University Medical Faculty, Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology Department, Trabzon, Turkey


Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is endemic in Turkey, and since 2004 many cases have been reported from different regions of Turkey. There are limited data about the seroprevalence of the disease in household members of patients or persons sharing the same environment. We evaluated seroprevalence of CCHF in the immediate neighbourhood and in household members of patients living in the same environment as confirmed cases of CCHF in an endemic area of Turkey. A total of 625 healthy subjects [mean (s.d.) age: 42·3 (18·4) years, 58·7% females] without a past history of CCHF infection included in this case-control, retrospective study were evaluated in terms of sociodemographic characteristics, risk factors for CCHF via a study questionnaire, while serum analysis for CCHF virus (CCHFV) IgG antibodies was performed by ELISA. Anti-CCHFV IgG antibodies were positive in 85 (13·6%) participants. None of the seropositive individuals had a history of symptomatic infection. Regression analysis revealed that animal husbandry [odds ratio (OR) 1·84, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·09–3·11], contact with animals (OR 2·31, 95% CI 1·08–5·10), contact with ticks (OR 3·45, 95% CI 1·87–6·46), removing ticks from animals by hand (OR 2·48, 95% CI 1·48–4·18) and living in a rural area (OR 4·05, 95% CI 1·65–10·56) were associated with increased odds of having IgG seropositivity, while being a household member of a patient with prior CCHF infection had no influence on seropositivity rates. This result also supports the idea that CCHF is not transmitted person-to-person by the airborne route.

(Received January 28 2013)

(Revised April 02 2013)

(Accepted April 19 2013)

(Online publication May 21 2013)

Key words

  • Anti-CCHFV IgG antibodies;
  • Bunyaviridae;
  • Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever;
  • viral haemorrhagic fever;
  • zoonotic diseases