Volume 40, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Eleven species of small African wild mammals, laboratory rabbits, guinea pigs, and Syrian hamsters were infected with Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever (CCHF) virus. Low-titered viremia followed by development of antibody was observed in scrub hares (), Cape ground squirrels (), red veld rats (), white tailed rats (), bushveld gerbils (), striped mice (), and guinea pigs. The maximum viremic titer in 4 scrub hares was 10 50% mouse lethal doses/ml. Viremia was detected in 1/17 infected laboratory rabbits. Antibody response was only detected in South African hedgehogs (), highveld gerbils (), Namaqua gerbils (), 2 species of multimammate mouse ( and ), and Syrian hamsters. The results of the study indicate that a proportion of infected scrub hares develop CCHF viremia of an intensity shown in the Soviet Union to be sufficient for infection of feeding immature ixodid ticks, but that South African hedgehogs and wild rodents are unlikely to be of importance as maintenance hosts of the virus in southern Africa.


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