“Please”, “Help me”, I’m still in pain..the ugly truth about chronic chikungunya.

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 Chikungunya is a disease characterized by incapacitating pain in the joints and muscles, and no treatment or vaccine is currently available. The only way to prevent chikungunya is to prevent mosquito bites, something that is impossible to achieve over a long period of time. Although 50% of infected patients recover completely with no complications, another 50% will develop chronic pain or inflammation in the joints and/or muscles, which may last for months to years, resulting in additional psychological problems. During an outbreak, the burden on health services and the impact of the debilitating symptoms on the economy is immense. Chronic symptoms disrupt daily lives, require multiple medical visits to the physician, and about 80% of patients take medications every day to manage their symptoms. Understanding the mechanism of chronic chikungunya will help with the development of drugs that target the immune response or the virus to treat this chronic, debilitating disease. Artemis has identified potential pathogenic pathways that pave the way to the development of effective therapies.

Chikungunya has emerged in the Americas in 2013. The virus was responsible for huge morbidity, manifested as acute, debilitating muscle and joint pain and up to 50% of patients remained with chronic pain for months to years after infection. Chikungunya resembles the autoimmune disease “rheumatoid arthritis” and it is not possible to predict who will develop chronic arthritis as the mechanism that leads to the chronic disease is not well-understood. In this project we will look into the role of macrophages in the development of chronic disease.


What is the context of this research?

It is believed that infection of macrophages results in low-grade persistent infection. The continuous production of virus or the reaction of the macrophages to the low-grade infection may be responsible for the chronic pain and inflammation seen in 30-50% of patients.


What is the significance of this charity project?

Understanding the mechanism of chronic disease has big advantages to the patient. First, it may allow identification of biomarkers for predicting who will develop chronic disease. In addition, understanding the process by which chronic disease develops may pave the way to the development of effective treatment. Chikungunya outbreaks and the development of chronic disease have a huge impact on the health care system and a negative impact on the economy. It is extremely important to invest in research focussing on understanding the mechanism of chronic disease, which may help us design ways to prevent or treat it.


What are the goals?

  • Identify biomarkers of chronic chikungunya in cohorts of patients from the Dutch Caribbean
  • Understanding the role of macrophages in development of chronic disease


Overview investment of the money

Request: Artemis One Health Research Foundation is  seeking up as much as €30.000 in funding for this charity project

Laboratory consumables   €24,150
Meetings (2,5%)        €750
Maintanance equipment necessary for the project (2%)        €600
Overhead (15%)      €4500
Total   €30,000

Use of Budget

More of 80% of the budget will be used for the actual project, which is investigating the role of the immune system in development of chronic joint inflammation and pain. This part of the work includes experiments in the lab using different cells form human origins. Budget will be used to purchase cell cultures consumables, medium, monoclonal antibodies, and biomarker assays. The budget will also cover indirect costs that are crucial to perform the proposed work, which include maintenance of equipment relevant to execute the project, overhead, and meetings that are necessary to manage the project and discuss results and further steps forward. The work will start as soon as 80% of the requested funding is achieved. The duration of the project is envisioned to be 4 years.

Our researchers will share the outcomes of the experiment directly with the backer who signed in for this particular newsletter. The outcomes of this project will be published in the form of peer-reviewed journal publication, open data sets, graduate theses, academic posters, and more.


Artemis One Health Research Foundation depends to a great extent on the support and generosity of donors for the success of our research projects. To guarantee that more than 80% of the donations goes to research, we need another source of funding to cover the salary for a technician to do the work. For this specific project we are seeking support for one technician for the duration of 4 years. The costs for personnel are estimated at 43,940 euro per year. Note that such a technician can be used for max three of the project lines of Artemis. In the face of lack of support for personnel, we will cover the personnel costs from own investments. However as a foundation relying on donations for specific programs we will appreciate your generosity to help us cover the personnel cost of this project. Are you a strong believer in our mission and do you/your organization want to support us in this fight, please feel free to contact our head Research & Development, Dr. Byron Martina by email b.martina@artemisonehealth.com or office phone +31 (0)30 635 5444.


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* Please read these Terms & Conditions carefully. By donating you are agreeing to these terms and conditions. If you have any queries regarding our Charity Donation Services, please contact our Fundraising Officer, by email e.martina@artemisonehealth.com or office phone +31 (0)30 635 5444.




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