Caitlin Thompson visits Turkey with LSTM CCHF team

Mon, 11 September 2023

Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) is a viral disease that causes fever, headaches, muscle pain, nausea and vomiting, and rashes caused by bleeding in the skin. In severe cases it can cause organ failure and death. The virus is found in certain species of ticks and can be transmitted through tick-bites or through close contact with bodily fluids of an infected person or animal. CCHF is found through Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Balkans with increasing incidences in Europe over the last few years. Unfortunately, there is currently a lack of good diagnostics, treatments and vaccines for CCHF. Over the last 2 years, we have been working on the development of a rapid lateral flow test that will provide a diagnostic result within 25 minutes.

This summer we set up a multi-site clinical evaluation of the rapid lateral flow test in 6 hospital sites across Turkey, to assess the sensitivity and specificity of the test for its use at the point-of-care in endemic CCHF regions. This involved travelling over 1000km in 3 days to deposit over 1800 tests to clinical sites across Turkey for our collaborators to evaluate prospective clinical samples of suspected CCHF patients. This evaluation is still ongoing, but the early results look promising. These results will allow us, for the first time, to evaluate how this test works in the setting for which it is intended.