Chikungunya Arthritis: Implications of Acute and Chronic Inflammation Mechanisms on Disease Management

Ali Zaid, Patrick Gérardin, Adam Taylor, Helen Mostafavi, Denis Malvy, Suresh Mahalingam
Arthritis & Rheumatology 2018, 70 (4): 484-495
In the past decade, arboviruses-arthropod-borne viruses-have been the focus of public health institutions worldwide following a spate of devastating outbreaks. Chikungunya virus, an arbovirus that belongs to the alphavirus genus, is a reemerging arthritogenic virus that has caused explosive outbreaks since 2006, notably on Réunion Island, and more recently in the Caribbean, South America, India, and Southeast Asia. The severity of arthritic disease caused by chikungunya virus has prompted public health authorities in affected countries to develop specific guidelines to tackle this pathogen. Chikungunya virus disease manifests first as an acute stage of severe joint inflammation and febrile illness, which later progresses to a chronic stage, during which patients may experience debilitating and persisting articular pain for extended periods. This review aims to provide a broad perspective on current knowledge of chikungunya virus pathogenesis by identifying key clinical and experimental studies that have contributed to our understanding of chikungunya virus to date. In addition, the review explores the practical aspects of treatment and management of both acute and chronic chikungunya virus based on clinical experience during chikungunya virus outbreaks. Finally, recent findings on potential therapeutic solutions-from antiviral agents to immunomodulators-are reviewed to provide both viral immunologists and clinical rheumatologists with a balanced perspective on the nature of a reemerging arboviral disease of significant public health concern, and insight into future therapeutic approaches to better address the treatment and management of chikungunya virus.

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