Recent Progress in the Treatment of Crimean–Congo Hemorrhagic Fever and Future Perspectives

Masayuki Saijo; Shigeru Morikawa; Ichiro Kurane


Future Virology. 2010;5(6):801-809. 

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Crimean–Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus

The Bunyaviridae family of viruses comprises of more than 300 virus species, grouped into five genera, Orthobunyavirus, Hantavirus, Phlebovirus, Nairovirus and Tospovirus. CCHFV belongs to genus Nairoirus and is maintained in ixodid ticks. CCHFV virions are spherical, with a diameter of approximately 90–100 nm. CCHFV is an enveloped particle with a tripartite, ssRNA genome of negative polarity.[1] Each of the three genome segments contains one open reading frame, flanked by noncoding regions. Four structural proteins are encoded: the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (L protein), expressed by the large (L)-genome segment; the mature glycoproteins GN and GC, encoded by the medium (M)-genome segment, and the nucleoprotein (N), encoded by the small (S)-genome segment. These three segments are encapsidated by nucleoprotein N, and associated with L protein, resulting in the formation of ribonucleoprotein particles.[1] The polyprotein encoded by the M-genome segment is cotranslationally cleaved into precursor molecules, PreGN and PreGC, which are, subsequently post-translationally processed into the mature glycoproteins, GN and GC, respectively.[4,5] These mature glycoproteins play a role in virion attachment to currently unidentified receptors on the susceptible host cells.[6]

Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever virus is maintained in ixodid ticks (genus Hyalomma, Dermacenter and Phipicephalus) through trans-ovarial and -stadial transmission. Wild and domestic animals are usually infected with CCHFV through tick bites, forming a tick–vertebrate host cycle. Humans acquire infection through tick bites (genus Hyalomma) primarily, or by close contact with fresh meat or blood from slaughtered viremic animals, including sheep, cattle, ostriches and goats. Human-to-human transmission is also documented, mostly through a form of nosocomial or in-house infection.[7–17]


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