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Curr Infect Dis Rep. 2011 Jun;13(3):218-28. doi: 10.1007/s11908-011-0180-1.

Chikungunya virus infection.

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1
Department of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine, Laveran Military Teaching Hospital, Marseille, France, simon-f@wanadoo.fr.

Abstract

Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is an alphavirus transmitted by mosquitoes, mostly Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. After half a century of focal outbreaks of acute febrile polyarthralgia in Africa and Asia, the disease unexpectedly spread in the past decade with large outbreaks in Africa and around the Indian Ocean and rare autochthonous transmission in temperate areas. This emergence brought new insights on its pathogenesis, notably the role of the A226V mutation that improved CHIKV fitness in Ae. albopictus and the possible CHIKV persistence in deep tissue sanctuaries for months after infection. Massive outbreaks also revealed new aspects of the acute stage: the high number of symptomatic cases, unexpected complications, mother-to-child transmission, and low lethality in debilitated patients. The follow-up of patients in epidemic areas has identified frequent, long-lasting, rheumatic disorders, including rare inflammatory joint destruction, and common chronic mood changes associated with quality-of-life impairment. Thus, the globalization of CHIKV exposes countries with Aedes mosquitoes both to brutal outbreaks of acute incapacitating episodes and endemic long-lasting disorders.

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