Background Recently Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) outbreaks have been reported in the Carribean. There is no data regarding the outbreak in Curaçao. In addition, to date there is no biomarker that could be used to predict chronic infection. Objectives To characterize the first CHIKV outbreak in Curaçao and to identify potential biomarkers for chronic infection. Study design A serological test and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) were used on samples collected in Curaçao to confirm infection. Subsequently, six samples with high viral load were selected for phylogenetic analysis. Furthermore we investigated the association of macrophage-related biomarkers during CHIKV infection with chronic arthralgia/arthritis. Results 116 patients in Curacao were diagnosed with CHIKV infection based on ELISA and 77% were tested positive for CHIKV by qPCR. Phylogenetic analysis showed that an Asian genotype was the cause of the outbreak. Elevated levels of ferritin and CRP were significantly associated with viraemia. In addition, elevated ferritin levels were significantly associated with chronic arthralgia. Conclusions The results showed that the presence of an Asian genotype of CHIKV in Curaçao for the first time. Moreover, we found an association between ferritin levels with chronic arthralgia.

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Journal of Clinical Virology
Department of Virology

Anfasa, F., Provacia, L., Geurts van Kessel, C., Wever, R. (Robert), Gerstenbluth, I., Osterhaus, A.D.M.E. (Albert D.M.E.), & Martina, B. (2017). Hyperferritinemia is a potential marker of chronic chikungunya: A retrospective study on the Island of Curaçao during the 2014–2015 outbreak. Journal of Clinical Virology, 86, 31–38. doi:10.1016/j.jcv.2016.11.003