Detection of crimean-congo hemorrhagic fever virus genome in saliva and urine
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Background: The Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) virus is transmitted by tick bites and by contact with the blood or tissues of infected patients and livestock. This study was designed to investigate the genome of CCHF virus in saliva and urine samples of patients with CCHF. Methods: Eight patients with laboratory-confirmed CCHF were included in the study. The diagnosis was made by detection of viral RNA in blood by real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (real-time RT-PCR). Samples of saliva from six patients and samples of urine from three patients were collected at the same time as the blood samples and analyzed for viral RNA. Results: The genome of CCHF virus was detected in the saliva from five of the six patients and in the urine from two of the three patients. The levels of viral load in the saliva and urine samples were similar to those in the blood samples in all but one patient, in whom higher levels were detected in blood compared to saliva or urine. Conclusions: This study shows that during human infection with CCHF virus, viral genomes are present in the saliva and urine. Further studies to isolate infectious viruses from these fluids and to study whether they represent an infectious risk are underway.