The seroprevalence of Rickettsia conorii in humans living in villages of Tokat Province in Turkey, where Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus is endemic, and epidemiological similarities of both infectious agents


Abstract: Tokat Province is an epicenter for Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) in Turkey. The aim of this study was to investigate the seroprevalence of Rickettsia conorii and to clarify the epidemiological similarities between CCHFV and R. conorii in Tokat Province. Materials and methods: The prevalence of antibodies reactive with R. conorii was examined by ELISA in 364 sera, 151 of which were seropositive for CCHFV. Results: The overall prevalence of antibodies reactive with R. conorii was 36.81%. The prevalence of antibodies to R. conorii infection was higher in humans who showed CCHFV seropositivity than seronegativity, 52.32% and 25.82%, respectively (P = 0.001). A significant difference in seroprevalence was found between groups who had a history of tick bite and who did not, 41.52% and 29.29%, respectively (P = 0.019). Conclusion: Our data show that people who are a risk group for CCHFV are likely to be a risk group for R. conorii.

Keywords: Rickettsia conorii, Mediterranean spotted fever, seroprevalence, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, tick-borne infections, Turkey

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