Chikungunya as a paradigm for emerging viral diseases: Evaluating disease impact and hurdles to vaccine development

Giovanni Rezza, Scott C. Weaver

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Chikungunya fever (CHIKF) is an emerging infectious disease caused by an alphavirus transmitted by Aedes spp. mosquitoes. Because mosquito control programs are not highly efficient for outbreak containment, vaccines are essential to reduce the burden of disease. Although no licensed vaccine against CHIKF is yet available, many highly promising candidates are undergoing preclinical studies, and a few of them have been tested in human trials of phase 1 or 2. Here, we review recent findings regarding the need for a CHIKF vaccine and provide an update on vaccines nearing or having entered clinical trials. We also address needs to tackle bottlenecks to vaccine development—including scientific and financial barriers—and to accelerate the development of vaccines; several actions should be taken: (i) design efficacy trials to be conducted during the course of outbreaks; (ii) evaluate the opportunity for adopting the “animal rule-for demonstration of efficacy for regulatory purposes; (iii) strengthen the collective commitment of nations, international organizations, potential donors and industry; (iv) stimulate public and/or private partnerships to invest in vaccine development and licensure; and (v) identify potential markets for an effective and safe CHIKF vaccine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0006919
JournalPLoS neglected tropical diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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