Aykut Ozkul

Ankara University

'Life threatening CrimeanCongo Haemorrhagic Fever  inTurkey: Characteristics, Epidemiology and Future Perspectives'

Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) has been causing clinically severe disease in human being in Middle Anatolia and Black Sea Region of Turkey since 2002. CCHF cases are more prevalent during late spring and summer. In Turkey, more than 2500 clinical cases with 5-50% fatality rate have been reported between 2002 and 2008 by Ministry of Health. Turkey seems to be one of the countries in which the world's biggest outbreak of CCHF has occurred. The analysis of the latest epidemics (in 2008) showed that the disease has almost spilled-over the country by infecting wider areas in contrast to those in previous years. Clinical symptoms recorded in local cases are characterized by fever, head ache, myalgia, weakness, fatigue and lack of appetite, which are followed by nasal bleeding and/or ecchymotic hemorrhages in various parts of skin. In addition nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea can also be seen in patients. Hyalomma marginatum, main vector of CCHFV, was found predominantly (49.9%) on ruminant species in epidemic areas in Turkey. In addition, seroprevalance of CCHFV was detected as 79% in cattle serums collected from endemic regions.

In a future perspective, several research groups have already focused to produce subunit vaccine(s) for use for prophylactic purposes in endemic and/or risk groups and/or areas. On the other hand, couple of groups is also working on production of hyperimmune serum using purified Gn and Gc glycoproteins encoded by M segment in order not only to help accelerating clinical recovery of CCHF patients but also to calm people down after possible tick bites during coming CCHF sessions.