Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a mosquito-borneAlphavirus that causes Chikungunya fever (CHIKF) in humans. In 1952, the CHIKV was found in East Africa in a sylvatic and urban cycle between Aedes mosquitoes, and human and nonhuman primates in tropical regions. Since 2004, CHIKF has spread rapidly in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. Both Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus are known to be arboviral mosquito vectors of CHIKV. Ae. aegypti is mostly found within the tropics, whereby Ae. albopictus also occurs in temperate and cold temperate regions. Host-seeking female mosquitoes are infected after feeding on a viremic animal. The replication of CHIKV happens in the midgut and then enters the hemocoel before disseminating to the salivary glands of the mosquito. The disseminated virus can be transmitted by injecting infectious saliva into the host skin during blood feeding. In the naïve host body, CHIKV replicates in the dermal fibroblasts through blood circulation, and disseminates to other parts of the body such as brain cells, kidney, heart, lymphoid tissues, liver, and joints. Symptoms of CHIKV infection include high fever, rigors, headache, photophobia, and maculopapular rash. It is advised to avoid mosquito bites; also, larvae management systems should be applied in endemic environments.
- Chikungunya virus
- Chikungunya fever
- Aedes aegypti
- Aedes albopictus
Chikungunya fever (CHIKF) is an arthropod-borne viral disease caused by the Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) which belongs to the Togaviridae family of genus
The term “Chikungunya” was derived from the local word in the Makonde tribe based in the Southeastern part of Tanzania, meaning “disease that bends up the joints and causing pains” . The CHIKV infection was first identified as an outbreak with an incidence rate estimated at 23%. It was reported for the period going from July 1952 to March 1953 in the Newala and Masasi districts in Southern Tanzania. The virus was isolated in early 1953 from the blood of several febrile patients. The CHIKV was initially found in East Africa in a sylvatic cycle between forest-dwelling
2. Chikungunya vectors
CHIKV is primarily transmitted by Stegomyia vector mosquitoes that belong to genus
In Asia and the Indian Ocean regions, the main CHIKV vectors are
Adult, female mosquitoes can lay eggs on the inner walls of the containers with water, above the waterline. Eggs stick singly to container walls like glue and can survive drying out for up to 8 months, enabling them to survive cold winters and other adverse climatic conditions .
2.3 Host-seeking and blood-feeding behavior
3. Chikungunya virus
Since 2004, Chikungunya has spread rapidly and been identified in over 60 countries throughout Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas. In 2007, local transmission was reported for the first time in Europe and more specifically in northeastern Italy where a localized outbreak of 197 cases were recorded. In 2014, Europe faced its highest Chikungunya burden, with almost 1500 cases of which France and the UK were the most affected. France also confirmed four cases of locally-acquired Chikungunya infection in the southern part of the country .
In the year 2013, the first documented outbreak of Chikungunya with the autochthonous transmission in the Americas occurred . In 2016, there were a total of 349,936 suspected cases and 146,914 laboratory-confirmed cases reported to the Pan African Health Organization (PAHO) regional office, which represented half of the burden compared to the previous year. In 2017, European Centre for Diseases Prevention and Control (ECDC) reported a total of 10 countries, with 548 cases of Chikungunya, of which 84% were confirmed cases. Italy bore more than 50% of the Chikungunya burden.
In Africa and Asia, Chikungunya outbreaks were also reported in Senegal (2015), Kenya (2004 and 2016), Tanzania (2008), Sudan (2018), Yemen (2019), and more recently in Cambodia and Chad (2020) [15, 16, 17].
CHIKV can be transmitted in a sylvatic, enzootic, and urban cycle involving humans, nonhumans, and
In Africa, circulation in sylvatic, enzootic cycles involves several species of arboreal mosquito vectors that transmit among diverse nonhuman primates and possibly other amplifying hosts. Transmission of CHIKV occurs through a bite by infected
There is evidence that some animals, including non-primates, rodents, birds, and small mammals, may act as reservoirs of the virus, allowing re-emergence of the virus after periods of inactivity in humans .
3.3 Mosquito-virus relationship
The ability of arthropods to transmit pathogens depends on intrinsic and extrinsic factors and is expressed in two terms: (a) Vector competence, the ability of a vector to become infected and transmit after the pathogen is ingested in a blood meal, is often regulated for arboviruses at the level of midgut infection, and (b) Vectorial capacity, the number of infective bites arising from an infected host, as shown in Figure 2. Host-seeking female mosquitoes are infected after feeding on a viremic animal. CHIKV first replicates in the midgut and then enters the hemocoel before disseminating to the salivary glands. Midgut basal lamina reorganization during blood digestion mediates this dissemination process. The extrinsic incubation period is generally 2–5 days, suggesting that even vector populations with poor daily adult survival can transmit effectively. Females with a disseminated virus in their salivary glands can transmit by injecting infectious saliva into a naïve host during a subsequent blood meal, leading to horizontal transmission.
3.4 Chikungunya pathogenesis
In order for the viral transmission to occur, the skin is a major portal of entry whereby the infested mosquito transmits CHIKV together with immunoregulatory proteins from the mosquito’s saliva while taking a blood meal. The local immune response (monocyte, keratocytes, and melanocytes) cannot prevent the virus from spreading to other tissues. Then, CHIKV replicates in the fibroblast cells of the skin then through the blood circulation, the viruses are disseminated to the brain cells, the kidney, heart, lymphoid tissues, liver, and joints. The incubation period is 2–4 days and is followed by a sudden onset of clinical disease with no prodromal phase. Symptoms of CHIKV infection include high fever, rigors, headache, photophobia, and a petechial rash or maculopapular rash. In addition, most infected individuals complain of severe joint pain that is often incapacitating due to the joint inflammation caused by arthralgia and rheumatoid arthritis (Figure 3) [16, 20].
The use of a mosquito larvae management system would be a great approach to reduce vector population. The use of mosquito repellents, such as coils and lotions containing repellents, during the daytime will reduce arboviral transmissions. Governments could develop public awareness campaigns during outbreaks to educate populations on how to control the disease.
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