Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) is an important human pathogen, which is the cause of a tick-borne illness occurring in many areas of Africa, Asia, and Europe. CCHF is characterized by a sudden onset of high fever, chills, and severe headache. Other symptoms can include gastrointestinal disorders, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In severe cases, hemorrhagic manifestations can occur and often present as large areas of ecchymosis, rather than frank bleeding. Exposure to ticks, particularly those in the genus Hyalomma, or direct contact with virus-infected animals or people are considered the major risk factors. Studies on CCHFV are impeded by the biocontainment needed for their manipulation. However, the increasing worldwide medical awareness, the enormous interest of the media in hemorrhagic fever diseases, and their potential to be used as a bioweapon, have greatly spurred on research on this important virus, as evidenced by many new developments including the development of a reverse genetics system which should greatly enhance future research with this virus.
Keywords: hemorrhagic diseases, Nairovirus, nucleoprotein, immunofluorescence assays, minigenomes