A. Papa, E. Velo, E. Papadimitriou, G. Cahani, M. Kota, S. Bino, First Department of Microbiology (WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Arboviruses and Hemorrhagic Fever Viruses), Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2009 Dec;9(6):713-6
Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) is endemic in Albania. Ticks collected from cattle grazing in the endemic areas of Albania were tested for presence of CCHFV RNA, while serum samples collected from goats, cattle, hares, and birds were tested for the presence of specific IgG antibodies to CCHFV. One of the 31 pools prepared, consisting of four female Hyalomma spp. ticks, was found to carry CCHFV RNA with 99.2-100% homology to sequences detected in patients from the same region. Antibodies were not detected in cattle, hares, and birds, but 2/10 goats presented high titers of IgG antibodies. The shepherd of that flock was a member of a family affected by CCHF 10 days before the collection of goats' sera, and he presented a mild form of the disease.
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VBORNET comment: 2010-01-24:
This paper aims to provide information on the ecology of CCHF endemic area in Albania. 338 ticks were collected from animals (cattle) and sera from cattle, goats, hares and birds from the CCHF endemic areas of NE Albania and were analysed for IgG antibodies. Only 1/31 pools of ticks were positive, and although the most abundant tick collection was Rhipicephalus spp., the positive ticks were Hyalomma spp., as we might expect. Ticks were not identified to species level. 2/10 goats were positive for IgG. All birds were negative and presumably also the cattle and hares. The latter is surprising as these are generally considered the main reservoir of infection, although the sample size was low. This paper adds very little to our knowledge of the ecology of CCHF, however it does provide some information on the seroprevalence of CCHF in goats and the diversity of ticks on cattle and goats in CCHF endemic areas in Albania. Follow up studies with greater numbers of Hyalomma and sera from hares would be worthwhile.