Logo of epidinfectJournal HomepageSubscribeSumbitJournal Homepage
Epidemiol Infect. 1996 Jun; 116(3): 353–361.
PMCID: PMC2271429

Investigation of tick-borne viruses as pathogens of humans in South Africa and evidence of Dugbe virus infection in a patient with prolonged thrombocytopenia.


In the course of investigating suspected cases of viral haemorrhagic fever in South Africa patients were encountered who had been bitten by ticks, but who lacked evidence of infection with Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF) virus or non-viral tick-borne agents. Cattle sera were tested by enzyme-linked immunoassay to determine whether tick-borne viruses other than CCHF occur in the country. The prevalence of antibody in cattle sera was 905/2116 (42.8%) for CCHF virus, 70/1358 (5.2%) for Dugbe, 21/1358 (1.5%) for louping ill, 6/450 (1.3%) for West Nile, 7/1358 (0.5%) for Nairobi sheep disease, 3/625 (0.5%) for Kadam and 2/450 (0.4%) for Chenuda. No reactions were recorded with Hazara, Bahig, Bhanja, Thogoto and Dhori viruses. The CCHF findings confirmed previous observations that the virus is widely prevalent within the distribution range of ticks of the genus Hyalomma, while antibody activity to Dugbe antigen was detected only within the distribution range of the tick Amblyomma hebraeum. Cross-reactivity for the nairoviruses, Hazara, Nairobi sheep disease and Dugbe, was detected in serum samples from 3/72 human patients with confirmed CCHF infection, and serum from 1/162 other patients reacted monospecifically with Dugbe antigen. The latter patient suffered from febrile illness with prolonged thrombocytopenia.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1.4M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Swanepoel R, Struthers JK, Shepherd AJ, McGillivray GM, Nel MJ, Jupp PG. Crimean-congo hemorrhagic fever in South Africa. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1983 Nov;32(6):1407–1415. [PubMed]
  • Swanepoel R, Shepherd AJ, Leman PA, Shepherd SP, McGillivray GM, Erasmus MJ, Searle LA, Gill DE. Epidemiologic and clinical features of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever in southern Africa. Am J Trop Med Hyg. 1987 Jan;36(1):120–132. [PubMed]
  • Swanepoel R, Gill DE, Shepherd AJ, Leman PA, Mynhardt JH, Harvey S. The clinical pathology of Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever. Rev Infect Dis. 1989 May-Jun;11 (Suppl 4):S794–S800. [PubMed]
  • Burt FJ, Leman PA, Abbott JC, Swanepoel R. Serodiagnosis of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever. Epidemiol Infect. 1994 Dec;113(3):551–562. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • KOKERNOT RH, MCINTOSH BM. Isolation of West Nile virus from a naturally infected human being and from a bird, Sylvietta rufescens (Vieillot). S Afr Med J. 1959 Nov 21;33:987–989. [PubMed]
  • Burt FJ, Swanepoel R, Braack LE. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for the detection of antibody to Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus in the sera of livestock and wild vertebrates. Epidemiol Infect. 1993 Dec;111(3):547–557. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Walker JB. A review of the ixodid ticks (Acari, Ixodidae) occurring in southern Africa. Onderstepoort J Vet Res. 1991 Jun;58(2):81–105. [PubMed]
  • Ward VK, Marriott AC, Booth TF, el-Ghorr AA, Nuttall PA. Detection of an arbovirus in an invertebrate and a vertebrate host using the polymerase chain reaction. J Virol Methods. 1990 Dec;30(3):291–300. [PubMed]
  • Casals J, Tignor GH. Neutralization and hemagglutination-inhibition tests with Crimean hemorrhagic fever-Congo virus. Proc Soc Exp Biol Med. 1974 Mar;145(3):960–966. [PubMed]
  • Shepherd AJ, Swanepoel R, Leman PA. Antibody response in Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever. Rev Infect Dis. 1989 May-Jun;11 (Suppl 4):S801–S806. [PubMed]
  • Koch WC, Adler SP. Detection of human parvovirus B19 DNA by using the polymerase chain reaction. J Clin Microbiol. 1990 Jan;28(1):65–69. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Ward VK, Marriott AC, Polyzoni T, el-Ghorr AA, Antoniadis A, Nuttall PA. Expression of the nucleocapsid protein of Dugbe virus and antigenic cross-reactions with other nairoviruses. Virus Res. 1992 Jul;24(2):223–229. [PubMed]
  • Casals J, Tignor GH. The Nairovirus genus: serological relationships. Intervirology. 1980;14(3-4):144–147. [PubMed]
  • Davies FG, Jessett DM, Otieno S. The antibody response of sheep following infection with Nairobi sheep disease virus. J Comp Pathol. 1976 Oct;86(4):497–502. [PubMed]
  • Moore DL, Causey OR, Carey DE, Reddy S, Cooke AR, Akinkugbe FM, David-West TS, Kemp GE. Arthropod-borne viral infections of man in Nigeria, 1964-1970. Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 1975 Mar;69(1):49–64. [PubMed]
  • Georges AJ, Saluzzo JF, Gonzalez JP, Dussarat GV. Arboviroses in centrafrique: incidence et aspects diagnostiques chez l'homme. Med Trop (Mars) 1980 Sep-Oct;40(5):561–568. [PubMed]
  • Huard M, Cornet JP, Camicas JL. Passage transovarien du virus Dugbe chez la tique Amblyomma variegatum (Fabricius). Bull Soc Pathol Exot Filiales. 1978 Jan-Feb;71(1):19–22. [PubMed]
  • Walker JB, Olwage A. The tick vectors of Cowdria ruminantium (Ixodoidea, Ixodidae, genus Amblyomma) and their distribution. Onderstepoort J Vet Res. 1987 Sep;54(3):353–379. [PubMed]

Articles from Epidemiology and Infection are provided here courtesy of Cambridge University Press


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...