Understanding pathogenesis of Chikungunya and development of effective vaccines (UnPaCEV)
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is transmitted to people by mosquitoes, the same mosquitoes that transmit dengue and Zika. Historically distributed across tropical Africa and Southeast Asia, CHIKV has in recent years expanded its geographical range across the Indian Ocean and lately across South America and the Caribbean. In contrast to other arbovirus diseases, such as dengue, a minority of infections with CHIKV are asymptomatic, ranging from 3% to 25% of individuals with only serological evidence of infection. Thus, the majority of infections (≥75%) result in disease manifestations, after an incubation period of 2 to 4 days, characterized by acute high fever, chills, headache, nausea, photophobia, vomiting, as well as painful and debilitating polyarthralgia. After 1 to 2 weeks, symptoms usually resolve, but up to 30%-50% of the patients experience extreme fatigue and chronic disabling arthralgias that can persist for weeks, months, or even years. Although mortality is relatively low, it is more likely to occur in those at the extremes of age (neonates and elderly), as well as in adults with co-morbidities. In those cases, fatalities are often the result of neuroinvasive disease.
The aims of this project are:
- To understand the role of innate and adaptive immune system in development of chronic disease
- Development of safe and effective candidate vaccine against CHIKV
- Develop candidate vaccines that are suitable for large-scale production
- Perform pre-clinical studies with the most promising candidate vaccines
- Develop standardized assays to evaluate immunogenicity and efficacy of candidate dengue fever vaccines
- Artemis One Health Research Institute (NL)
- Research Center for Emerging Infections and Zoonoses (DE)
- Curacao Biomedical & Health Research Institute (Cur)
- Erasmus University Rotterdam (NL)
UnPaCEV project is supported through own investment and joint activities without financial commitments.