The Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever virus (CCHF) is the most widely
spread tick-borne pathogen, with cases occurring in Africa, the
Middle-East, Eastern Europe as well as Asia. Livestock are amplifying
species in CCHF circulation in endemic areas. As a result, individuals
caring for or butchering livestock are at higher risk of disease
acquisition. Despite CCHF substantial case fatality and broad
geographical distribution, there are no specific treatments.
Furthermore, the only specific vaccine, an inactivated one, is only
approved in Bulgaria due to the associated safety concerns.
funds from two Canadian agencies, namely the Department of Foreign
Affairs and the International Development Research Center, we are
tackling both CCHF surveillance and transmission. First, using a
One-Health approach, we are training scientists in West Africa
(Mauritania, Ivory Coast) in the detection and sequencing of CCHF
isolates from human, livestock and tick samples. Second, we are testing
the ability of two DNA vaccines to prevent CCHF infection in livestock.
One vaccine encodes for CCHF glycoproteins, while the second vaccine
aims at preventing ticks infestation by encoding a gut antigen from
By building diagnostic capacity for humans, animals and
tick vectors, this project will provide a better understanding of CCHF
circulation and provide novel CCHF isolate sequences to improve future
diagnostic assays and vaccines. Our livestock immunization trial will
also provide an affordable means of reducing CCHF transmission to
at-risk populations in West Africa.