New Insights into Chikungunya Virus Infection and Pathogenesis

Annu Rev Virol. 2021 Jul 13. doi: 10.1146/annurev-virology-091919-102021. Online ahead of print.


Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a re-emerging mosquito-borne alphavirus responsible for major outbreaks of disease since 2004 in the Indian Ocean islands, South east Asia, and the Americas. CHIKV causes debilitating musculoskeletal disorders in humans that are characterized by fever, rash, polyarthralgia, and myalgia. The disease is often self-limiting and nonlethal; however, some patients experience atypical or severe clinical manifestations, as well as a chronic rheumatic syndrome. Unfortunately, no efficient antivirals against CHIKV infection are available so far, highlighting the importance of deepening our knowledge of CHIKV host cell interactions and viral replication strategies. In this review, we discuss recent breakthroughs in the molecular mechanisms that regulate CHIKV infection and lay down the foundations to understand viral pathogenesis. We describe the role of the recently identified host factors co-opted by the virus for infection and pathogenesis, and emphasize the importance of CHIKV nonstructural proteins in both replication complex assembly and host immune response evasion. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Virology, Volume 8 is September 2021. Please see for revised estimates.