Chikungunya from the Caribbean: the importance of appropriate laboratory tests to confirm the diagnosis

Vector Borne Zoonotic Dis. 2015 Apr;15(4):258-60. doi: 10.1089/vbz.2014.1724.


Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) appeared for the first time in the Western Hemisphere--the French West Indies--in December of 2013. From there, the virus has spread to other Caribbean islands. Following the diagnosis of first autochthonous CHIKV cases in the Caribbean island of Saint Martin, a large outbreak is ongoing in the Americas. As of September 12, 2014, a total of 706,093 suspected and 9803 confirmed CHIKV cases have been reported in the Americas. This case study highlights the possibility of false-negative immunochromatographic CHIKV immunoglobulin M (IgM) tests and the need of confirmatory tests for suspected cases. Moreover, a greater spread of virus together with the presence of a mosquito vector (Aedes albopictus) enhances the risk of autochthonous transmission in Europe.

Keywords: Chikungunya; Dominican Republic; Immunochromatographic IgM test; Italy; Rapid diagnostic test.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aedes / virology*
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / immunology*
  • Caribbean Region
  • Chikungunya Fever / diagnosis*
  • Chikungunya Fever / virology
  • Chikungunya virus / genetics
  • Chikungunya virus / immunology
  • Chikungunya virus / isolation & purification*
  • False Negative Reactions
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin M / immunology
  • Insect Vectors / virology*
  • Middle Aged


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Immunoglobulin M