Life Cycle of Chikungunya Virus

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Mar 18, 2011

Chikungunya is a viral illness in which Aedes aegypti mosquito acts as a vector of CHKV. Chikungunya virus (CHKV or CHIV) an arthropod borne virus from the family of Togaviridae, genus. Alphavirus is a protein coat that surrounds the genetic material known as ribonucleic acid. During its life cycle, the virus mainly infects only arthropod and vertebrate hosts.

Life Cycle of Chikungunya Virus


Initial Stage of CHIV Infection

CHKV enters the human body via the saliva glands of the mosquito. When an infected female Anopheles mosquito bites, it introduces the virus into the bloodstream of the host. Soon after entering the blood stream, the virus get combined with permissive cells, especially the one of the nose, throat and mouth.


Cellular and Infectious Stage

In cellular stage, the chikungunya virus makes its way to the cytoplasm and then finally to the nucleus. After entering the nucleus ,CHIV deposits genetic material and replicates genome in the nucleus. After passing the cellular stage, the virus enters into the surrounding tissues and begins infecting the other cells as well. It proliferates in  the bloodstream and entire body causing main infection. It is only after two to twelve days of an infected mosquito bite that the symptoms of illness occur. Chikungunya fever is mainly characterised by sudden onset of fever, severe pain in the joints and skin rashes.


The Mosquito Stage


When a mosquito bites the above stated viraemic host or the human who has been infected, the virus is transmitted to it and it gets replicated in the mid-gut, ovary, neural tissues and fat of the insect. The virus reproduces there and migrates to the salivary glands of the mosquito.


As the infected mosquito bites someone the life cycle of CHKV transfers onto another person making another viraemic host.


Read more articles on Understand Chikungunya


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