Molecular epidemiology of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus in ticks in northwest of Iran
Eslam Shafei, Mohammad Saaid Dayer and Zakkyeh Telmadarraiy
Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is a fatal viral disease that occurs in different provinces of Iran. The causative agent of the disease is a tick-borne virus of the family Bunyaviridae, genus Nairovirus. The virus is transmitted to humans through infected bite of ticks, squashed ticks or by contact with blood or tissues of infected livestock or human. Ticks are important vectors and reservoirs of Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) virus. This study was conducted to determine the rate of CCHFV infection in ticks in Eastern Azerbaijan Province of Iran. Reverse transcription– polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) method was used to detect the CCHFV genome based on S segment in 177 ticks. RT-PCR technique showed the occurrence of CCHFV in 9 out of 177 tested hard tick samples (5.08%). All positive ticks belonged to Hyalomma and Dermacentor genera. Infected species were Dermacentor marginatus (66.6%), Hyalomma marginatum (22.2%) and Hyalomma sp (11.1%). All the infected ticks were isolated from sheep. Our Results exhibited that D. marginatus, H. marginatum and Hyalommasp were the main vectors of CCHFV in the study area.