Biosafety standards for working with Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus


Weidmann M, Avsic-Zupanc T, Bino S, Bouloy M, Burt F, Sadegh C, Christova I, Dedushaj I, El-Sanousi AA, Elaldi N, Hewson R, Hufert FT, Humolli I, van Vuren PJ & Tufan ZK (2016) Biosafety standards for working with Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus. Journal of General Virology, 97 (11), pp. 2799-2808.

In countries from which Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is absent, the causative virus CCHF virus (CCHFV) is classified as a hazard group 4 agent and handled in containment level 4. In contrast, most endemic countries out of necessity have had to perform diagnostic tests under biosafety level (BSL) -2 or -3 conditions. In particular, Turkey and several of the Balkan countries have safely processed more than 100000 samples over many years in BSL-2 laboratories. It is therefore advocated that biosafety requirements for CCHF diagnostic procedures should be revised, to allow the required tests to be performed under enhanced BSL-2 conditions with appropriate biosafety laboratory equipment and personal protective equipment used according to standardized protocols in the affected countries. Downgrading of CCHFV research work from Cl-4, BSL-4 to Cl-3, BSL-3 should also be considered.

Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus; biosafety; nosocomial infection; laboratory acquired infection; seroepidemiology; personal protective equipment; aerosol; droplet

Additional co-authors: Gülay Korukluoglu, Pieter Lyssen, Ali Mirazimi, Johan Neyts, Matthias Niedrig, Aykut Ozkul, Anna Papa, Janusz Paweska, Amadou A Sall, Connie S Schmaljohn, Robert Swanepoel, Yavuz Uyar, Friedemann Weber, Herve Zeller

Journal of General Virology: Volume 97, Issue 11

Publication date30/11/2016
Publication date online21/09/2016
Date accepted by journal17/09/2016
PublisherMicrobiology Society