Risk factors associated with Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus circulation among human, livestock and ticks in Mauritania through a one health retrospective study

Abdellahi El Ghassem, Andrea Apolloni, Laurence Vial, Romain Bouvier, Celia Bernard, Mariem Seyidna Khayar, Mariem Cheikh Ahmed, Hugues Fausther-Bovendo, Abdallahi Diambar Beyit, Barry Yahya, Mohamed Bezeid Ould El Mamy, Ahmed Elbara, Mohamed Abdellahi Bollahi, Catherine Cêtre-Sossah, Ali Ould Mohamed Salem Boukhary

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Crimean Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) is endemic in Southern Mauritania where recurrent outbreaks have been constantly observed since the 1980’s. The present study is the first to assess CCHFV antibodies and RNA in humans. Methods: A retrospective study was conducted using 263 humans and 1380 domestic animals serum samples, and 282 tick specimens of Hyalomma genus collected from 54 settings in 12 provinces across Mauritania. Antibodies targeting CCHF viral nucleoprotein were detected in animal and human sera using double-antigen ELISA. CCHFV specific RNA was detected in human and animal sera as well as tick supernatants using a CCHFV real time RT-PCR kit. Individual characteristics of sampled hosts were collected at the same time and data were geo-referenced. Satellite data of several environmental and climatic factors, were downloaded from publicly available datasets, and combined with data on livestock mobility, animal and human density, road accessibility and individual characteristics to identify possible risk factors for CCHFV spatial distribution. To this end, multivariate logistic models were developed for each host category (human, small and large ruminants). Results: The overall CCHFV antibody prevalence was 11.8% [95% CI: 8.4–16.3] in humans (17.9% in 2020 and 5.4% in 2021; p = 0.0017) and 33.1% (95% CI: 30.1–36.3) in livestock. CCHFV-specific antibodies were detected in 91 (18.1%) out of 502 sheep, 43 (9.0%) out of 477 goats, 144 (90.5%) out of 161 dromedaries and 179 (74.6%) out of 240 cattle. CCHFV RNA was detected in only 2 (0.7%) sera out of 263 animals herders samples from Hodh El Gharbi province and in 32 (11.3%) out of 282 Hyalomma ticks. In humans as well as in animals, seropositivity was not associated with sex or age groups. The multivariate analysis determined the role of different environmental, climatic and anthropic factors in the spatial distribution of the disease with animal mobility and age being identified as risk factors. Conclusion: Results of the present study demonstrate the potential risk of CCHF for human population in Mauritania primarily those living in rural areas in close vicinity with animals. Future studies should prioritize an integrative human and veterinary approach for better understanding and managing Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number764
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibody prevalence
  • Crimean Congo hemorrhagic Fever
  • Epidemiology
  • Genome detection
  • Mauritania

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases


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