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Chronic Chikungunya Virus Disease

  • Mary K. McCarthy
  • Bennett J. J. Davenport
  • Thomas E. MorrisonEmail author
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series


Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a mosquito-transmitted alphavirus that has caused both small- and large-scale epidemics of incapacitating musculoskeletal disease across the globe. A substantial proportion of infected individuals experience debilitating arthralgia and/or arthritis that can persist in relapsing or continuous forms for months to years, an occurrence that appears independent of viral strain and outbreak location. Due to the lack of CHIKV-specific vaccine or therapeutics, treatment of chronic CHIKV disease is limited to supportive care. Although the epidemiologic and molecular mechanisms that dictate resolution or chronicity of CHIKV disease remain unclear, several risk factors and immunological responses have been implicated in the development of chronic CHIKV disease. Mounting evidence from animal models and limited case studies indicates that chronic disease is likely a result of induced autoimmunity and/or viral persistence in joint-associated tissue. Due to the global spread and explosive, often unpredictable nature of CHIKV epidemics, concerted efforts to obtain a more precise understanding of the development and maintenance of chronic CHIKV disease must be at the forefront of investigative endeavors.



This work was supported by Public Health Service grants R01 AI108725, R01 AI123348, and U19 AI109680 (to T. E. Morrison), F32 AI122463 (to M. K. McCarthy), and T32 AR007534 (to B. J. J. Davenport) from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary K. McCarthy
    • 1
  • Bennett J. J. Davenport
    • 1
  • Thomas E. Morrison
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Immunology and MicrobiologyUniversity of Colorado School of MedicineAuroraUSA

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