Chikungunya fever (CHIKF) is a major public health concern and is caused by chikungunya virus (CHIKV). In 2005, the virus was reintroduced into India, resulting in massive outbreaks in several parts of the country. During 2010 and 2016 outbreaks, we recruited 588 patients from a tertiary care hospital in New Delhi, India, during the acute phase of CHIKF; collected their blood and clinical data; and determined their arthralgic status 12 weeks post-onset of fever. We evaluated IgM/IgG CHIKV-binding antibodies and their neutralizing capacity, sequenced complete genomes of 21 CHIKV strains, and correlated mutations with patient sequelae status. We also performed infections in murine models using representative strains from each outbreak to evaluate differences in pathogenesis. Our screening and analysis revealed that patients of the 2016 outbreak developed earlier IgM and neutralizing antibody responses that were negatively correlated with sequelae, compared with 2010 patients. Mutations that correlated with human disease progression were also correlated with enhanced murine virulence and pathogenesis. Overall, our study suggests that the development of early neutralizing antibodies and sequence variation in clinical isolates are predictors of human sequelae.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases