Several Tick-Borne Pathogenic Viruses in Circulation in Anatolia, Turkey

Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2022 Feb;22(2):148-158. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2021.0082. Epub 2022 Feb 8.


Introduction: We screened host-collected ticks for tick-borne viruses, including those recently documented as human pathogens. Methods: During 2020-2021, ticks removed form cattle, sheep, dogs, and cats in 11 provinces in 5 geographically distinct regions of Anatolia were identified, pooled, and screened using pan-nairovirus, pan-flavivirus and individual assays for Jingmen tick virus (JMTV), and Tacheng tick virus 1 and 2 (TcTV-1 and TcTV-2). Results: A total of 901 tick specimens, comprising 6 species were included. Rhipicephalus sanguineus complex was the most abundant species (44.1%), followed by Rhipicephalus bursa (38.3%), Haemaphysalis parva (7.2%), and others. The specimens were screened in 158 pools with 12 pools (7.6%) being positive. Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) lineage Europe 2 (genotype VI) sequences were detected in R. bursa in five (3.2%) of the pools, with similar prevalences in central and Mediterranean Anatolian provinces. JMTV was identified in four R. bursa and one Rhipicephalus turanicus pools, collected from Mediterranean and southeastern Anatolia, with a CCHFV and JMTV coinfected R. bursa pool. The JMTV segment 1 sequences formed a separate cluster with those from Turkey and the Balkan peninsula in the maximum likelihood analysis. TcTV-2 was detected in two Dermacentor marginatus specimens (1.3%) collected in central Anatolia, with nucleocapsid sequences forming a phylogenetically segregated group among viruses from humans and ticks from China and Kazakhstan. Discussion: CCHFV Europe 2 was initially documented in ticks from central Anatolian locations, where related orthonairoviruses had been previously recorded. Ongoing activity and a wider distribution of JMTV and TcTV-2 were observed. These viruses should be screened as potential etiological agents in human infections associated with tick bites.

Keywords: Anatolia; Crimean–Congo hemorrhagic fever virus; Jingmen tick virus; Tacheng tick virus; Turkey; tick-borne.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Dogs
  • Hemorrhagic Fever Virus, Crimean-Congo* / genetics
  • Ixodidae*
  • Phylogeny
  • Rhipicephalus*
  • Sheep
  • Turkey / epidemiology