Species distribution and detection of Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus (CCHFV) in field-collected ticks in Ankara Province, Central Anatolia, Turkey


EXPERIMENTAL AND APPLIED ACAROLOGY, vol.56, no.1, pp.75-84, 2012 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 56 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10493-011-9492-y
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.75-84
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Ticks may act as vectors for a number of infectious diseases including Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF). The causative agent is Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus (CCHFV), a member of Bunyaviridae, causing extensive ecchymosis, visceral bleeding and hepatic dysfunction with a high fatality rate in the affected individuals. CCHF was initially recognized in Turkey in 2002 and the current number of reported cases exceeds 4,400. This study was conducted to confirm the presence of tick species established as potential CCHFV vectors and investigate CCHFV activity in ticks at Ankara province, Turkey's second most-densely populated province, where CCHF cases were demonstrated. A total of 1,196 adult ticks, collected from various animals and vegetation in 12 sites located in 5 counties of Ankara during April-July 2010 were identified to species level. Twenty-two tick pools from county K2 were also evaluated for the presence of CCHFV RNA via a one-step real-time RT-PCR assay and reactive results were further confirmed by an in house nested RT-PCR assay. Nine tick species were identified: Rhipicephalus bursa (44.9%), R. sanguineus (18.9%), R. turanicus (18.1%), Haemaphysalis parva (8.3%), Hyalomma marginatum marginatum (5.4%), H. aegyptium (1.4%), H. anatolicum excavatum (1.3%), Hae. punctata (0.3%) and Dermacentor marginatus (0.2%). A total of five tick pools (22.7%) were reactive in real-time and nested RT-PCR assays. The pools included R. bursa, H. m. marginatum and Hae. parva ticks, collected from mammal hosts from two villages in one county. This is the first documentation of CCHFV activity in ticks from Ankara province, which indicates requirement for detailed surveillance to predict high risk zones in the region.