Chikungunya virus is a single-stranded RNA alphavirus transmitted to humans by Aedes species mosquitos, causing an acute illness known as chikungunya fever with maculopapular rash, headache, polyarthritis/arthralgias, and gastrointestinal symptoms. Up to half of affected patients develop a chronic disabling arthritis following resolution of the acute infection, which can last for months or even years. The pathophysiology of chronic chikungunya arthritis remains controversial; it may result from a dysregulated immune response or be caused by persistent viral infection. Treatment for patients with chronic chikungunya arthritis remains investigational. Limited data suggests that immunosuppressive therapies such as methotrexate and TNF alpha inhibitors may be beneficial, though randomized clinical trials are needed.
Part of the book: Current Topics in Neglected Tropical Diseases