Seroprevalence of Chikungunya (CHIK) Infection during Non Epidemic Periods in Chennai, Southern India
Dr. Murugan Duraivel,
Department of Pharmacology, Chettinad Hospital and Research Institute, Kelambakkam, Chengalpattu-603103, Tamil Nadu, India.
Introduction: Chikungunya (CHIK) infection has caused many outbreaks in India with more than 13 lac people affected by the disease. Epidemics of CHIK infection occur during post monsoon period when there is a high vector density. Evidences on the prevalence of CHIK infection during non epidemic periods are limited.
Aim: To determine the seroprevalence of CHIK infection during non epidemic periods among patients attending fever clinic in Chennai, Southern India.
Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was done in 180 suspected cases of CHIK infection between the months of September 2014 and February 2015. A 5 mL of blood samples were collected from the suspected cases and serum was separated to detect for the presence of CHIK-IgM antibody by using CHIKIgM antibody capture Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) kit. Chi-square test was done to find out the statistical significance with p-value <0.05 kept as statistically significant.
Results: The seroprevalence of CHIK infection during non epidemic periods was found to be 5.5% (10/180). Fever and joint pain were the major complaints present in all the study population. All the seronegative cases were tested for the presence of other infections and it was found that 13% were positive for typhoid, 9% were positive for leptospirosis, 4% for malaria and 2% for dengue infections.
Conclusion: There are no vaccines or specific medications available till date. Prevention is the only effective approach against the disease. Even though the prevalence of CHIK infection is low during non epidemic periods, strict vector control and elimination of mosquito breeding sites are very important in controlling the disease transmission.