An attenuated chikungunya (CHIK) virus clone was developed for production of a live vaccine for human use. CHIK strain 15561 was subjected to 18 plaque-to-plaque passages in MRC-5 cultures before CHIK 181/clone 25 was selected as vaccine seed based on homogeneous small plaque size, suckling mouse avirulence, reduced monkey viraemia and genetic stability. Oligonucleotide mapping demonstrated differences between parent and clone. Vaccine (pilot-lot production) elicited neutralizing antibody and protected mice and rhesus monkeys against challenge. After challenge, viraemias were absent in vaccinated monkeys. Vaccine was then produced and tested in accordance with governmental regulatory requirements of human use.