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Papers of the Week

2022 Dec 23




Understanding the Biology and Immune Pathogenesis of Chikungunya Virus Infection for Diagnostic and Vaccine Development.


Chikungunya virus, the causative agent of chikungunya fever, is generally characterized by the sudden onset of symptoms, including fever, rash, myalgia, and headache. In some patients, acute chikungunya virus infection progresses to severe and chronic arthralgia that persists for years. Chikungunya infection is more commonly identified in tropical and subtropical regions. However, recent expansions and epidemics in the temperate regions have raised concerns about the future public health impact of chikungunya diseases. Several underlying factors have likely contributed to the recent re-emergence of chikungunya infection, including urbanization, human travel, viral adaptation to mosquito vectors, lack of effective control measures, and the spread of mosquito vectors to new regions. However, the true burden of chikungunya disease is most likely to be underestimated, particularly in developing countries, due to the lack of standard diagnostic assays and clinical manifestations overlapping with those of other endemic viral infections in the regions. Additionally, there have been no chikungunya vaccines available to prevent the infection. Thus, it is important to update our understanding of the immunopathogenesis of chikungunya infection, its clinical manifestations, the diagnosis, and the development of chikungunya vaccines.