Long-Term Arthralgia after Mayaro Virus Infection Correlates with Sustained Pro-inflammatory Cytokine Response

Felix W. Santiago, Eric S. Halsey, Crystyan Siles, Stalin Vilcarromero, Carolina Guevara, Jesus A. Silvas, Cesar Ramal, Julia S. Ampuero, Patricia V. Aguilar

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54 Scopus citations


Mayaro virus (MAYV), an alphavirus similar to chikungunya virus (CHIKV), causes an acute debilitating disease which results in the development of long-term arthralgia in more than 50% of infected individuals. Currently, the immune response and its role in the development of MAYV-induced persistent arthralgia remain unknown. In this study, we evaluated the immune response of individuals with confirmed MAYV infection in a one-year longitudinal study carried out in Loreto, Peru. We report that MAYV infection elicits robust immune responses that result in the development of a strong neutralizing antibody response and the secretion of pro-inflammatory immune mediators. The composition of these inflammatory mediators, in some cases, differed to those previously observed for CHIKV. Key mediators such as IL-13, IL-7 and VEGF were strongly induced following MAYV infection and were significantly increased in subjects that eventually developed persistent arthralgia. Although a strong neutralizing antibody response was observed in all subjects, it was not sufficient to prevent the long-term outcomes of MAYV infection. This study provides initial immunologic insight that may eventually contribute to prognostic tools and therapeutic treatments against this emerging pathogen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0004104
JournalPLoS neglected tropical diseases
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 23 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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