Chikungunya virus

Transmission vector
An Aedes aegypti mosquito, one of two species that are the chief carriers of the chikungunya virus.
From CDC / Prof. Frank Hadley Collins.

Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral disease. The name “chikungunya” derives from a word in the Kimakonde language, meaning “to become contorted”, and describes the stooped appearance of sufferers with joint pain (arthralgia). The virus was first isolated from a febrile patient during an outbreak on the Makonde Plateau in the southern province of Tanzania in 1952–53.

Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a RNA virus that belongs to the alphavirus genus of the family Togaviridae. The genus Alphavirus is composed of various serocomplexes that are grouped together on the basis of antigenic properties. CHIKV belongs to the Semliki Forest antigenic complex along with other mosquito-borne alphaviruses such as Ross River virus, Mayaro, o’nyong-nyong virus, Getah, Bebaru, and Semliki Forest viruses.

The disease is characterised by fever, headache, myalgia, rash, and joint pain. Although most symptoms resolve, some patients have joint pain that can continue for years and can be so severe that they adopt a bent or stooping posture.

Last update: Thursday, November 19, 2015
Searching definition