Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Lancet. 2007 Dec 1;370(9602):1840-6.

Infection with chikungunya virus in Italy: an outbreak in a temperate region.

Author information

  • 1Department of Infectious, Parasitic, and Immunomediated Diseases, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Chikungunya virus (CHIKV), which is transmitted by Aedes spp mosquitoes, has recently caused several outbreaks on islands in the Indian Ocean and on the Indian subcontinent. We report on an outbreak in Italy.

METHODS:

After reports of a large number of cases of febrile illness of unknown origin in two contiguous villages in northeastern Italy, an outbreak investigation was done to identify the primary source of infection and modes of transmission. An active surveillance system was also implemented. The clinical case definition was presentation with fever and joint pain. Blood samples were gathered and analysed by PCR and serological assays to identify the causal agent. Locally captured mosquitoes were also tested by PCR. Phylogenetic analysis of the CHIKV E1 region was done.

FINDINGS:

Analysis of samples from human beings and from mosquitoes showed that the outbreak was caused by CHIKV. We identified 205 cases of infection with CHIKV between July 4 and Sept 27, 2007. The presumed index case was a man from India who developed symptoms while visiting relatives in one of the villages. Phylogenetic analysis showed a high similarity between the strains found in Italy and those identified during an earlier outbreak on islands in the Indian Ocean. The disease was fairly mild in nearly all cases, with only one reported death.

INTERPRETATION:

This outbreak of CHIKV disease in a non-tropical area was to some extent unexpected and emphasises the need for preparedness and response to emerging infectious threats in the era of globalisation.

Comment in

  • Chikungunya in Europe: what's next? [Lancet. 2007]
  • Chikungunya in Europe. [Lancet. 2008]
  • Chikungunya in Europe. [Lancet. 2008]
PMID:
18061059
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk