Chikungunya virus is spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. The most common symptoms of infection are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash. Outbreaks have occurred in countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Indian and Pacific Oceans. In late 2013, chikungunya virus was found for the first time in the Americas on islands in the Caribbean. There is a risk that the virus will be imported to new areas by infected travelers. There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat chikungunya virus infection. Travelers can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites. When traveling to countries with chikungunya virus, use insect repellent, wear long sleeves and pants, and stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens.
ChikV IgG/IgM RapiCard InstaTest is a rapid immunochromatographic assay for the simultaneous detection of IgG and IgM antibodies to Chikungunya virus in human whole blood, serum or plasma. The assay is used as a screening test for Chikungunya viral infection.
Chikungunya virus (ChikV) is a mosquito-transmitted alpha virus belonging to the Togaviridae family, first isolated in Tanzania in 1952. Three lineages with distinct genotypic and antigenic characteristics have been identified. Chikungunya virus is endemic to some parts of Africa and causes recurrent epidemic waves in Asia and the Indian subcontinent. At the end of 2013 the virus emerged in the Americas. Human beings serve as the main chikungunya virus reservoir during epidemic periods. In Africa, some animals constitute the virus reservoir during non-epidemic periods sustaining virus circulation. Clinical signs of chikungunya virus infection include sudden onset fever and severe arthralgia (joint pain) affecting mainly the extremities but also the larger joints. Erratic, relapsing, and incapacitating joint pain is the hallmark of chikungunya virus. Up to 12% of patients still have chronic joint pain three years after the onset of their illness.
Other symptoms of the infection (headache, fatigue and rash) are common among many arborviral infections including chikungunya virus. There is no specific therapy for chikungunya virus infection. Patients are symptomatically treated with antiinflammatory medication. The death rate is not high, but excess mortality has been observed occurring together with larger chikungunya virus outbreaks. Diagnosis is based on the detection of virus by molecular methods or by virus culture in the first days of infection before an antibody response is evident. IgM antiChikV is detectable two to three days at the onset of symptoms and persist for several weeks up to three months. ChikV specific IgG appears soon after IgM antibodies and persist for years.