Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus in Ticks, Southwestern Europe, 2010
Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV; family Bunyaviridae, genus Nairovirus) causes outbreaks of severe hemorrhagic fever in humans, with case-fatality rates <30%. CCHFV is reported throughout broad regions of Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Reports linking transmission of the virus with an infected vector have involved ticks of the genus Hyalomma. In southeastern Europe, the Balkans are the known western limit for CCHFV (7). This finding is of special interest because Hyalomma marginatum, the main tick vector in the western Paleartic (an ecozone that includes temperate and cold areas of Eurasia and North Africa and several archipelagos and islands in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans), is common throughout the Mediterranean Basin (7), where clinical cases of the disease or the virus have not been reported. Unsupported claims of the effects of climate on virus distribution have been reported but never empirically demonstrated. In this paper is reported the detection of CCHFV in ticks collected in southwestern Europe.