Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is a tick-borne disease associated with a high case fatality rate and transmitted mainly by Hyalomma marginatum. The geographical distribution of H. marginatum covers most of the Western Mediterranean basin. We aimed to investigate whether CCHF virus (CCHFv) is circulating in Tunisia. Samples from unexplained acute febrile patients (n = 181) and a high risk group of humans, mainly slaughter workers (n = 38), were collected in the summer of 2014 and analyzed for exposure to CCHFv using serological tests and real-time RT-PCR. Ticks were collected from Northern and Southern Tunisia during May-June 2014 and examined for the presence of CCHFv by real-time RT-PCR. Of the 181 febrile patients, 5 showed only high titers of IgM suggesting a recent exposure to CCHFv. Among 38 slaughter workers, 2 had IgG anti-CCHFv responses yielding a seroprevalence of 5.2%. No CCHFv was detected in ticks and sera. Our results provide evidence of human exposure to CCHFv in Tunisia.
- CCHF virus