Biosafety standards for working with Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus

Weidmann M., Avsic-Zupanc T., Bino S., Bouloy M., Burt F., Chinikar S., ...More

JOURNAL OF GENERAL VIROLOGY, vol.97, pp.2799-2808, 2016 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 97
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1099/jgv.0.000610
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus
  • Page Numbers: 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 (CL)-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 100 000 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 tests required to be performed under enhanced BSL-2 conditions with appropriate biosafety laboratory equipment and personal protective equipment used according to standardized protocols in the countries affected. Downgrading of CCHFV research work from CL-4, BSL-4 to CL-3, BSL-3 should also be considered.