August 2018, Volume 68, Issue 8

Student's Corner

Chikungunya virus: Reared its head in Karachi-Pakistan - Letter to the Editor

Anusha Sultan Meo  ( Army Medical College, National University of Medical Sciences Rawalpindi, Pakistan. )


Madam, I would like to draw your attention about Chikungunya Virus (CHIKV), Aedes aegypti mosquito-borne an emerging alpha virus disease.1 CHIKV has recently reared its head and is affecting hundreds of people in the world\\\'s highly populated city Karachi-Pakistan. The CHIKV has been identified in over 60 countries in America, Africa, Asia and Europe.2 However, in recent days mosquito vectors of CHIKV have spread to Karachi, Pakistan. CHIKV caused widespread outbreaks of debilitating human disease in the past few years and more than 1.9 million people have been infected.2,3 CHIKV invasion of susceptible cells is mediated by two viral glycoproteins (E1 and E2) which carry the main antigenic determinants and form an icosahedral shell at the virion surface.1 The severity of CHIKV disease rigorously effect the quality of life of infected individuals for weeks, months or even years.4 It causes headache, nausea, fatigue, skin rashes, fever, and severe muscle and joint pain.2 In addition, it also causes gastrointestinal, cardiac and neurological complications.2 The disease shares some clinical signs with dengue fever and can be misdiagnosed in areas where dengue virus is common.
We cannot say that we were not warned. In 1970, it has been cautioned that Aedes aegypti, should be studied as a long-term regional, national and world problem rather than as a momentary local threat to the communities. No one can foresee the extent of the future threat of Aedes aegypti to mankind.5 Since there is no specific treatment or vaccine for Aedes aegypti born Chikungunya Virus disease and recently it reared its head in world\\\'s highly populated city, Karachi Pakistan, the World Health Organization should take this disease on priority basis to formulate outbreak management plans and develop vaccine to eradicate the emerging burden of CHIKV from various corners of the globe.

Disclaimer: None to declare.
Conflict of Interest: None to declare.
Funding Disclosure: None to declare.


1.  Voss JE, Vaney MC, Duquerroy S, Vonrhein C, Girard-Blanc C, Crublet E, et al. Glycoprotein organization of Chikungunya virus particles revealed by X-ray crystallography. Nature 2010; 468: 709-12.
2.  WHO-Chikungunya. [Online] [Cited 2017 May 14]. Available from: URL:
3.  Ramsauer K, Tangy F. Chikungunya Virus Vaccines: Viral Vector-Based Approaches. J Infect Dis 2016; 214 (Suppl 5): S500-5.
4.  Morrison CR, Plante KS, Heise MT. Chikungunya Virus: Current Perspectives on a Reemerging Virus. Microbiol Spectr 2016; 4 (3). 
5.  Powell JR. Mosquitoes on the move. Science 2016; 354: 971-2. 

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