Chikungunya causes chronic joint pain after infection. However, the virus that was thought to be present in the synovial fluid of the joints was not detected after 22 months of infection, reveals a recent study.
. The frequency of chronic joint pain after infection with chikungunya in a large Latin American cohort was 25 percent at a median of 20-months post-infection.
In the Arthritis & Rheumatology study, significant predictors of persistent joint pain included being a college graduate, headache, knee pain, missed work, normal activities effected, four or more days of initial symptoms, and four or more weeks of initial joint pain.
The investigators hypothesized that persistent active chikungunya is responsible for chronic arthritis and joint pain and that chikungunya viral RNA would be present in the synovial fluid.
However, in another study published in Arthritis & Rheumatology, the researchers did not detect viable virus after culture of synovial fluid in any of the participants who were studied for a median 22 months after infection.