Biotechnology and Molecular Biology Reviews

  • Abbreviation: Biotechnol. Mol. Biol. Rev.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1538-2273
  • DOI: 10.5897/BMBR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 101

Review

Alkhumra virus: A zoonotic butcher in the Middle East? Concerns and consideration

Meerasahib Mohamed Fareez1*, Lubna Saeed Mahmood2 and Abdulbasit  I. I. Al-Sieni3
1Biomedical Sciences, Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar. 2Human Nutrition and Food Science, Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar. 3Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Sciences King Abdulaziz University Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia‎ (KSA).
Email: [email protected], [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 05 April 2013
  •  Published: 30 April 2013

Abstract

New, emerging, and re-emerging infectious disease incidences have increased rapidly and frequently with significant human and financial costs.  Most of the viral infectious diseases are of zoonotic nature, and public awareness of the human health risks of infections have grown in recent years, since viral epidemics such as severe acute respiratory syndrome, West-Nile virus, and Ebola virus diseases have emerged over the past two decades. The Alkhumra virus, which belongs to the flaviviruses family, discovered in Saudi Arabia in the mid-1990s causes hemorrhagic fevers among cattle farmers and butchers. Flaviviruses are transmitted through arthropods, and most of them are of zoonotic nature. Epidemiological data indicates that Alkhumra virus (ALKV) is transmitted from livestock animals to humans by direct contact with animals or by mosquito bites, but not by ticks. In the recent past the incidence of alkhumra virus infection has notably increased and to date, no specific treatment or containment strategies have been developed for Alkhumra virus infection, thus, there is a possibility of a major outbreak if appropriate prevention and control strategies are not adopted. This review presents current facts and future concerns of the disease around the Gulf region.

Key words: Alkhumra virus, hemorrhagic fever, Saudi Arabia, tick-borne infection.