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Concept: Chikungunya


Hand pain is a relatively common complaint, and careful anamnesis and clinical examination may reveal its aetiology. Multiple joint involvement suggests either osteoarthritis or inflammatory arthritis. In the returning traveller, a more exotic explanation might be the case. A 31 year old woman was referred to our outpatient clinic for evaluation due to peripheral joint arthralgia. The symptoms started six months earlier, on the same day she returned from a three-week holiday in India. There were no signs of inflammatory arthritis or osteoarthritis. Blood tests were normal. Chikungunya virus serology was positive. The patient received symptomatic treatment with nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drugs and improved over a period of months. We describe the first case of Chikungunya fever diagnosed in our hospital.

Concepts: Inflammation, Hospital, Rheumatoid arthritis, Greek loanwords, Osteoarthritis, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, Arthralgia, Chikungunya


Dengue and chikungunya are increasing global public health concerns due to their rapid geographical spread and increasing disease burden. Knowledge of the contemporary distribution of their shared vectors, Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus remains incomplete and is complicated by an ongoing range expansion fuelled by increased global trade and travel. Mapping the global distribution of these vectors and the geographical determinants of their ranges is essential for public health planning. Here we compile the largest contemporary database for both species and pair it with relevant environmental variables predicting their global distribution. We show Aedes distributions to be the widest ever recorded; now extensive in all continents, including North America and Europe. These maps will help define the spatial limits of current autochthonous transmission of dengue and chikungunya viruses. It is only with this kind of rigorous entomological baseline that we can hope to project future health impacts of these viruses.

Concepts: Public health, Future, Chikungunya, Aedes aegypti, Aedes, Dengue fever, Map, North America


Current multiplexed diagnostics for Zika, dengue, and chikungunya viruses are situated outside the intersection of affordability, high performance, and suitability for use at the point-of-care in resource-limited settings. Consequently, insufficient diagnostic capabilities are a key limitation facing current Zika outbreak management strategies. Here we demonstrate highly sensitive and specific detection of Zika, chikungunya, and dengue viruses by coupling reverse-transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) with our recently developed quenching of unincorporated amplification signal reporters (QUASR) technique. We conduct reactions in a simple, inexpensive and portable “LAMP box” supplemented with a consumer class smartphone. The entire assembly can be powered by a 5 V USB source such as a USB power bank or solar panel. Our smartphone employs a novel algorithm utilizing chromaticity to analyze fluorescence signals, which improves the discrimination of positive/negative signals by 5-fold when compared to detection with traditional RGB intensity sensors or the naked eye. The ability to detect ZIKV directly from crude human sample matrices (blood, urine, and saliva) demonstrates our device’s utility for widespread clinical deployment. Together, these advances enable our system to host the key components necessary to expand the use of nucleic acid amplification-based detection assays towards point-of-care settings where they are needed most.

Concepts: Diagnosis, Nucleic acid, English-language films, Signal, The Key, Chikungunya, Demonstration, Universal Serial Bus


We report unbiased metagenomic detection of chikungunya virus (CHIKV), Ebola virus (EBOV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV) from four human blood samples by MinION nanopore sequencing coupled to a newly developed, web-based pipeline for real-time bioinformatics analysis on a computational server or laptop (MetaPORE). At titers ranging from 10(7)-10(8) copies per milliliter, reads to EBOV from two patients with acute hemorrhagic fever and CHIKV from an asymptomatic blood donor were detected within 4 to 10 min of data acquisition, while lower titer HCV virus (1 × 10(5) copies per milliliter) was detected within 40 min. Analysis of mapped nanopore reads alone, despite an average individual error rate of 24 % (range 8-49 %), permitted identification of the correct viral strain in all four isolates, and 90 % of the genome of CHIKV was recovered with 97-99 % accuracy. Using nanopore sequencing, metagenomic detection of viral pathogens directly from clinical samples was performed within an unprecedented <6 hr sample-to-answer turnaround time, and in a timeframe amenable to actionable clinical and public health diagnostics.

Concepts: Blood, Microbiology, Virus, Hepatitis C, Chikungunya, Viral diseases, Ebola, Viral hemorrhagic fever


During 2015 to 2016, Brazil reported more Zika virus (ZIKV) cases than any other country, yet population exposure remains unknown. Serological studies of ZIKV are hampered by cross-reactive immune responses against heterologous viruses. We conducted serosurveys for ZIKV, dengue virus (DENV), and Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) in 633 individuals prospectively sampled during 2015 to 2016, including microcephaly and non-microcephaly pregnancies, HIV-infected patients, tuberculosis patients, and university staff in Salvador in northeastern Brazil using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) and plaque reduction neutralization tests. Sera sampled retrospectively during 2013 to 2015 from 277 HIV-infected patients were used to assess the spread of ZIKV over time. Individuals were georeferenced, and sociodemographic indicators were compared between ZIKV-positive and -negative areas and areas with and without microcephaly cases. Epidemiological key parameters were modeled in a Bayesian framework. ZIKV seroprevalence increased rapidly during 2015 to 2016, reaching 63.3% by 2016 (95% confidence interval [CI], 59.4 to 66.8%), comparable to the seroprevalence of DENV (75.7%; CI, 69.4 to 81.1%) and higher than that of CHIKV (7.4%; CI, 5.6 to 9.8%). Of 19 microcephaly pregnancies, 94.7% showed ZIKV IgG antibodies, compared to 69.3% of 257 non-microcephaly pregnancies (P = 0.017). Analyses of sociodemographic data revealed a higher ZIKV burden in low socioeconomic status (SES) areas. High seroprevalence, combined with case data dynamics allowed estimates of the basic reproduction number R0 of 2.1 (CI, 1.8 to 2.5) at the onset of the outbreak and an effective reproductive number Reff of <1 in subsequent years. Our data corroborate ZIKV-associated congenital disease and an association of low SES and ZIKV infection and suggest that population immunity caused cessation of the outbreak. Similar studies from other areas will be required to determine the fate of the American ZIKV outbreak.IMPORTANCE The ongoing American Zika virus (ZIKV) outbreak involves millions of cases and has a major impact on maternal and child health. Knowledge of infection rates is crucial to project future epidemic patterns and determine the absolute risk of microcephaly upon maternal ZIKV infection during pregnancy. For unknown reasons, the vast majority of ZIKV-associated microcephaly cases are concentrated in northeastern Brazil. We analyzed different subpopulations from Salvador, a Brazilian metropolis representing one of the most affected areas during the American ZIKV outbreak. We demonstrate rapid spread of ZIKV in Salvador, Brazil, and infection rates exceeding 60%. We provide evidence for the link between ZIKV and microcephaly, report that ZIKV predominantly affects geographic areas with low socioeconomic status, and show that population immunity likely caused cessation of the outbreak. Our results enable stakeholders to identify target populations for vaccination and for trials on vaccine efficacy and allow refocusing of research efforts and intervention strategies.

Concepts: Immune system, Epidemiology, Socioeconomic status, Chikungunya, Aedes aegypti, Brazil, Basic reproduction number, Salvador, Bahia


Aedes species mosquitoes transmit chikungunya virus, as well as dengue and Zika viruses, and bite most often during the day.* Infectious mosquito bites frequently occur in and around homes (1,2). Caribbean countries first reported local transmission of chikungunya virus in December 2013, and soon after, chikungunya virus spread throughout the Americas (3). Puerto Rico reported its first laboratory-positive chikungunya case in May 2014 (4), and subsequently identified approximately 29,000 suspected cases throughout the island by the end of 2015.(†) Because conventional vector control approaches often fail to result in effective and sustainable prevention of infection with viruses transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes (5), and to improve surveillance of mosquito population densities, CDC developed an Autocidal Gravid Ovitrap (AGO) (6) to attract and capture the female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes responsible for transmission of infectious agents to humans (Figure). The AGO trap is a simple, low-cost device that requires no use of pesticides and no servicing for an extended period of time (6).

Concepts: Malaria, Mosquito, Yellow fever, Chikungunya, Aedes aegypti, Aedes, Dengue fever, Mosquito control


Aedes aegypti and Ae. albopictus are the main vectors transmitting dengue and chikungunya viruses. Despite being pathogens of global public health importance, knowledge of their vectors' global distribution remains patchy and sparse. A global geographic database of known occurrences of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus between 1960 and 2014 was compiled. Herein we present the database, which comprises occurrence data linked to point or polygon locations, derived from peer-reviewed literature and unpublished studies including national entomological surveys and expert networks. We describe all data collection processes, as well as geo-positioning methods, database management and quality-control procedures. This is the first comprehensive global database of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus occurrence, consisting of 19,930 and 22,137 geo-positioned occurrence records respectively. Both datasets can be used for a variety of mapping and spatial analyses of the vectors and, by inference, the diseases they transmit.

Concepts: Scientific method, Geography, Mosquito, Chikungunya, Knowledge, Aedes aegypti, Aedes, Dengue fever


Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) emerged in the Americas in late 2013 to cause substantial acute and chronic morbidity. About 1.1 million cases of chikungunya were reported within a year, including severe cases and deaths. The burden of chikungunya is unclear owing to inadequate disease surveillance and underdiagnosis. Virus evolution, globalization, and climate change may further CHIKV spread. No approved vaccine or antiviral therapeutics exist. Early detection and appropriate management could reduce the burden of severe atypical and chronic arthritic disease. Improved surveillance and risk assessment are needed to mitigate the impact of chikungunya.

Concepts: Medicine, Epidemiology, Microbiology, Virus, Spanish language, Chikungunya


The yellow fever mosquito Aedes aegypti inhabits much of the tropical and subtropical world and is a primary vector of dengue, Zika, and chikungunya viruses. Breeding populations of A. aegypti were first reported in California (CA) in 2013. Initial genetic analyses using 12 microsatellites on collections from Northern CA in 2013 indicated the South Central US region as the likely source of the introduction. We expanded genetic analyses of CA A. aegypti by: (a) examining additional Northern CA samples and including samples from Southern CA, (b) including more southern US populations for comparison, and © genotyping a subset of samples at 15,698 SNPs. Major results are: (1) Northern and Southern CA populations are distinct. (2) Northern populations are more genetically diverse than Southern CA populations. (3) Northern and Southern CA groups were likely founded by two independent introductions which came from the South Central US and Southwest US/northern Mexico regions respectively. (4) Our genetic data suggest that the founding events giving rise to the Northern CA and Southern CA populations likely occurred before the populations were first recognized in 2013 and 2014, respectively. (5) A Northern CA population analyzed at multiple time-points (two years apart) is genetically stable, consistent with permanent in situ breeding. These results expand previous work on the origin of California A. aegypti with the novel finding that this species entered California on multiple occasions, likely some years before its initial detection. This work has implications for mosquito surveillance and vector control activities not only in California but also in other regions where the distribution of this invasive mosquito is expanding.

Concepts: Genetics, Mosquito, Yellow fever, Chikungunya, Aedes aegypti, Aedes, Dengue fever, Culicidae


Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a mosquito-borne arthralgia arbovirus that is reemergent in sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. CHIKV infection has been shown to be self-limiting, but the molecular mechanisms of the innate immune response that control CHIKV replication remain undefined. Here, longitudinal transcriptional analyses of PBMCs from a cohort of CHIKV-infected patients revealed that type I IFNs controlled CHIKV infection via RSAD2 (which encodes viperin), an enigmatic multifunctional IFN-stimulated gene (ISG). Viperin was highly induced in monocytes, the major target cell of CHIKV in blood. Anti-CHIKV functions of viperin were dependent on its localization in the ER, and the N-terminal amphipathic α-helical domain was crucial for its antiviral activity in controlling CHIKV replication. Furthermore, mice lacking Rsad2 had higher viremia and severe joint inflammation compared with wild-type mice. Our data demonstrate that viperin is a critical antiviral host protein that controls CHIKV infection and provide a preclinical basis for the design of effective control strategies against CHIKV and other reemerging arthrogenic alphaviruses.

Concepts: Immune system, Inflammation, Protein, Gene, Virus, Innate immune system, Arthralgia, Chikungunya