Genetic characterization of Chikungunya virus in the Central African Republic

Infect Genet Evol. 2015 Jul;33:25-31. doi: 10.1016/j.meegid.2015.04.006. Epub 2015 Apr 22.

Abstract

Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is an alphavirus transmitted by the bite of mosquito vectors. Over the past 10 years, the virus has gained mutations that enhance its transmissibility by the Aedes albopictus vector, resulting in massive outbreaks in the Indian Ocean, Asia and Central Africa. Recent introduction of competent A. albopictus vectors into the Central African Republic (CAR) pose a threat of a Chikungunya fever (CHIKF) epidemic in this region. We undertook this study to assess the genetic diversity and background of CHIKV strains isolated in the CAR between 1975 and 1984 and also to estimate the ability of local strains to adapt to A. albopictus. Our results suggest that, local CHIKV strains have a genetic background compatible with quick adaptation to A. albopictus, as previously observed in other Central African countries. Intense surveillance of the human and vector populations is necessary to prevent or anticipate the emergence of a massive CHIKF epidemic in the CAR.

Keywords: Central African Republic; Chikungunya virus; Genetic variability.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Central African Republic / epidemiology
  • Chikungunya Fever / epidemiology*
  • Chikungunya Fever / transmission
  • Chikungunya Fever / virology*
  • Chikungunya virus / classification
  • Chikungunya virus / genetics*
  • Chikungunya virus / isolation & purification
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Geography
  • Humans
  • Insect Vectors
  • Phylogeny
  • Population Surveillance
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Viral Proteins / genetics

Substances

  • Viral Proteins