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Papers of the Week

Papers: 20 May 2023 - 26 May 2023

Clinical, Pediatric

Human Studies, Neurobiology

Arthritis, Inflammation/Inflammatory, Psychological/Comorbidities

2023 May 17



Longitudinal Analysis of the Burden of Post-Acute Chikungunya-Associated Arthralgia in Children and Adults: A Prospective Cohort Study in Managua, Nicaragua (2014-2019).


Warnes CM, Bustos Carrillo FA, Zambrana JV, Mercado BL, Arguello S, Ampié O, Collado D, Sanchez N, Ojeda S, Kuan G, Gordon A, Balmaseda A, Harris E


Chikungunya can result in debilitating arthralgia, often presenting as acute, self-limited pain, but occasionally manifesting chronically. Little is known about differences in chikungunya-associated arthralgia comparing children to adults over time. To characterize long-term chikungunya-associated arthralgia, we recruited 770 patients (105 0-4 year olds [y/o], 200 5-9 y/o, 307 10-15 y/o, and 158 16+ y/o) with symptomatic chikungunya virus infections in Managua, Nicaragua, during two chikungunya epidemics (2014-2015). Participants were assessed at ∼15 days and 1, 3, 6, 12, and 18 months post-fever onset. Following clinical guidelines, we defined participants by their last reported instance of arthralgia as acute ( < 10 days post-fever onset), interim (>10 and <90 days), or chronic ( > 90 days) cases. We observed a high prevalence of arthralgia (80-95%) across all ages over the study period. Overall, the odds of acute arthralgia increased in an age-dependent manner, with the lowest odds of arthralgia in the 0-4 y/o group (odds ratio [OR]: 0.27, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.14-0.51) and the highest odds of arthralgia in the 16+ y/o participants (OR: 4.91, 95% CI: 1.42-30.95) relative to 10-15 y/o participants. Females had a higher odds of acute arthralgia than males (OR: 1.63, 95% CI: 1.01-2.65) across all ages. We found that 23-36% of pediatric and 53% of adult participants reported an instance of post-acute arthralgia. Children exhibited the highest prevalence of post-acute polyarthralgia in their legs, followed by the hands and torso – a pattern not seen among adult participants. Further, we observed pediatric chikungunya presenting in two distinct phases: the acute phase and the associated interim and chronic phases. Differences in the presentation of arthralgia were observed across age, sex, and disease phase in this longitudinal chikungunya cohort. Our results elucidate the long-term burden of chikungunya-associated arthralgia among pediatric and adult populations.