Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Chikungunya mutation places several countries at risk of epidemic

Date:
June 16, 2014
Source:
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston
Summary:
For the first time, researchers were able to predict further adaptations of the chikungunya virus that recently spread from Africa to several continents that will likely result in even more efficient transmission and infection of more people by this virus strain. Since 2005, 1 in 1,000 chikungunya virus infections has resulted in a fatal disease.

For the first time, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston researchers were able to predict further adaptations of the chikungunya virus that recently spread from Africa to several continents that will likely result in even more efficient transmission and infection of more people by this virus strain.

Related Articles


A key factor in a viruses' potential to sustain its circulation and ultimately cause disease is its ability to adapt to new host environments. The number and complexity of these adaptations is shaped by how hospitable the new host is to a certain virus.

Since 2005, 1 in 1,000 chikungunya virus infections has resulted in a fatal disease. "A typical infection involves very severe arthritic symptoms, leaving the sufferer severely afflicted by pain to the point where people can't work or function normally," said UTMB professor Scott Weaver, lead author of this paper that will be published in Nature Communications. "Chikungunya continues to be a major threat to public health around the world."

A UTMB team previously found that a recently emerged lineage strain of the chikungunya virus has adapted itself to be hosted by not only the Aedes aegypti mosquito that lives mainly in the tropics but also to the Asian tiger mosquito, A. albopictus, which can currently be found on all continents except Antarctica. This mutation in the Indian Ocean lineage occurred through a single adaptive change in the virus' genetic code that alters one protein in the envelope surrounding the virus.

Their newest investigation analyzed recent events in chikungunya virus evolution that will aid in predicting future trends in transmission and circulation that determine epidemic potential. Weaver and his team found that the initial adaption provided the framework for a second wave of adaptations that can enable rapid diversification of viral strains and even more efficient transmission to people. In addition, analysis of the chikungunya virus strain expressing a combination of the second-wave adaptive mutations revealed a similar pattern of changes and heightened adaptive qualities suggesting the future emergence of even higher transmission efficiency.

The researchers concluded that the Indian Ocean lineage of chikungunya virus that has spread to the Indian Ocean Basin, Southeast Asia, Oceania and Europe continues to mutate and adapt to develop higher efficiency for transmission by the Asian tiger mosquito. "Although a different chikungunya virus strain from the Asian lineage is now circulating in the Americas, the introduction of the Indian Ocean lineage could put temperate regions where A. albopictus thrives at risk for expansion of epidemic circulation," Weaver cautioned.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Konstantin A. Tsetsarkin, Rubing Chen, Ruimei Yun, Shannan L. Rossi, Kenneth S. Plante, Mathilde Guerbois, Naomi Forrester, Guey Chuen Perng, Easwaran Sreekumar, Grace Leal, Jing Huang, Suchetana Mukhopadhyay, Scott C. Weaver. Multi-peaked adaptive landscape for chikungunya virus evolution predicts continued fitness optimization in Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. Nature Communications, 2014; 5 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5084

Cite This Page:

University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. "Chikungunya mutation places several countries at risk of epidemic." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140616141539.htm>.
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. (2014, June 16). Chikungunya mutation places several countries at risk of epidemic. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 5, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140616141539.htm
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. "Chikungunya mutation places several countries at risk of epidemic." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140616141539.htm (accessed March 5, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Praying Mantis Looks Long Before It Leaps

Praying Mantis Looks Long Before It Leaps

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) Slowed-down footage of the leaps of praying mantises show the insect&apos;s extraordinary precision, say researchers. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Octopus Grabs Camera and Turns It Around On Photographer

Octopus Grabs Camera and Turns It Around On Photographer

Buzz60 (Mar. 5, 2015) A photographer got the shot of a lifetime, or rather an octopus did, when it grabbed the camera and turned it around to take an amazing picture of the photographer. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ringling Bros. Eliminating Elephant Acts

Ringling Bros. Eliminating Elephant Acts

AP (Mar. 5, 2015) The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is ending its iconic elephant acts. The circus&apos; parent company, Feld Entertainment, told the AP exclusively that the acts will be phased out by 2018 over growing public concern about the animals. (March 5) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Tourists Visit Rare Grey Whales in Mexico

Raw: Tourists Visit Rare Grey Whales in Mexico

AP (Mar. 4, 2015) Once nearly extinct, grey whales now migrate in their thousands to Mexico&apos;s Vizcaino reserve in Baja California, in search of warmer waters to mate and give birth. Tourists flock to the reserve to see the whales, measuring up to 49 feet long. (March 4) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins