Source: Russian Ministry of Defence | Read full Briefing | Briefing documents
We have already noted that Ukraine and other post-Soviet states have become a testing ground for biological weapons not only for the USA, but also for its NATO allies; on the first place, Germany. Various projects have been carried out on behalf of the Joint Medical Service of the German Armed Forces.
Bundeswehr professionals paid particular attention to the Congo-Crimean fever pathogen. A large-scale screening of the susceptibility of the local population to this infection was carried out and included summarising demographic, epidemiological and clinical data. This kind of approaches allows to identify new regional virus genotypes and to select strains that cause latent clinical forms.
The study of natural foci of Crimean-Congo fever was carried out under the pretext of improving the Ukrainian epidemiological surveillance system, with the participation of the Institute of Veterinary Medicine in Kiev and the Mechnikov Anti-Plague Institute in Odessa.
Bundeswehr’s interest in Crimean-Congo fever stems from the fact that mortality can be as high as 30% and its outbreaks create a need for lengthy and costly treatment, preventive and special handling measures.
This is a quote from Bundeswehr’s instructions: ‘…pay particular attention to fatal cases of infection with Crimean-Congo fever as it allows the virus strains with maximum pathogenicity and virulence for humans to be extracted from the dead individuals…’
Apart from Germany, microbiologists from the USA have shown a keen interest in tick-borne infections; research in this area has been funded by DTRA through the UP-1 and UP-8 projects.
A separate project on ixodid ticks that are vectors of a number of highly dangerous infections (tularemia, West Nile fever, Congo-Crimean fever) has been implemented by the University of Texas.
Ticks used to be collected in the south-eastern regions of Ukraine, where natural foci of infections characteristic of the territory of the Russian Federation are located. At the same time, the period of implementing this work coincided with a rapid increase in the incidence of tick-borne borreliosis among the Ukrainian population, as well as the increase in the number of ticks in various regions of Russia bordering Ukraine.
This issue is being studied by competent Russian professionals in coordination with professionals from the Ministry of Defence of Russia.