Neurologic Manifestation of Chikungunya Virus


Purpose of Review

Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a RNA arbovirus that typically causes fevers and arthralgias, but reports of neurologic findings have become increasingly common. This article reviews our current understanding of CHIKV-associated neurologic manifestations.

Recent Findings

In the last 5 years, CHIKV endemicity has spread to the Americas and the number of cases of CHIKV-related disease has dramatically increased. Evidence suggests increasing neurovirulence of the virus, particularly among the critically ill. The spectrum of neurologic manifestations of the disease includes encephalitis, myelitis, and Guillain-Barre syndrome, but isolated reports of cranial neuropathies and cognitive deficits associated with recent infection also are reported.


Though neurologic symptoms associated with CHIKV remain relatively uncommon, their frequency appears to be increasing. Clinicians treating patients with neurologic symptoms from CHIKV endemic areas should be aware of the growing association between CHIKV and neurologic sequelae to help guide diagnostics. Research into the optimal treatment of the disease is needed to inform treatment practices.

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