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Papers of the Week

2022 Apr 22




Placental Alterations in a Chikungunya-Virus-Infected Pregnant Woman: A Case Report.


Salomão N, Araújo L, Rabelo K, Avvad-Portari E, de Souza L, Fernandes R, Valle N, Ferreira L, Basílio-de-Oliveira C, Basílio-de-Oliveira R, de Souza T, Nunes P, Carvalho J, Dos Santos F, Paes M
Microorganisms. 2022 Apr 22; 10(5).
PMID: 35630317.


Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is an arthropod-borne virus first isolated in Tanzania, Africa. The virus has spread to Asia as well as South and Central America through infected mosquitoes. Vertical transmission may also occur, and was first documented during a chikungunya outbreak in La Réunion Island in 2005. Since then, some authors have been discussing the role of the placenta in maternal-fetal CHIKV transmission. CHIKV infection is characterized by fever, headache, rash, and arthralgia. However, atypical manifestations and clinical complications, including neurological, cardiac, renal, ocular, and dermal, may occur in some cases. In this report, we describe the case of a pregnant woman infected by CHIKV during the third trimester of gestation, who presented with severe dermatological manifestations during the epidemic in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2019. CHIKV RNA and antigens were detected in the placental tissue, which presented with histopathological (deciduitis, fibrin deposition, edema, fetal vessel thickening, and chorioamnionitis) and ultrastructural alterations (cytotrophoblast with mitochondrial swelling and dilated cisterns in endoplasmic reticulum, vesicles in syncytiotrophoblasts, and thickening of the basement membrane of the endothelium).