Chikungunya arthritis

Clin Med (Lond). 2019 Sep;19(5):381-385. doi: 10.7861/clinmed.2019-0035.


The chikungunya virus (CHIKV) infection epidemic has emerged as a significant public health concern in the last 10-15 years, especially in Asian and south American countries. However, with ever-expanding tourism and migration, cases have now been reported in north America and Europe. CHIKV infection predominantly causes musculoskeletal symptoms with a chronic polyarthritis which may resemble autoimmune inflammatory arthritis. CHIKV infection should always be suspected in a returning traveller presenting with fever, skin rash and arthralgia. Though first reported in the last century, a series of epidemics since 2004 have substantially improved our knowledge. There has also been a significant increase in our understanding of the immunopathogenesis of chikungunya infection. This knowledge is being used in the development of new treatment strategies and preventive measures. In this narrative review, we discuss some of the recent advances in the epidemiology, immunopathogenesis, and management of CHIKV arthritis.

Keywords: Chikungunya infection; DMARDs; chronic arthritis; chronic inflammatory rheumatism; methotrexate; viral arthritis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Arthritis, Infectious*
  • Chikungunya Fever*
  • Chikungunya virus*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Humans
  • Methotrexate / therapeutic use


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Methotrexate