Chikungunya (CHIKV)


Clinical definition of the Chikungunya test
Chikungunya (meaning “to bend up”) is a debilitating (causes weakness), but non-fatal viral illness that is spread by the bite of an infected Culex or Aedes mosquito. Aedes aegypti ,the primary vector of the chikungunya virus is a household container breeder and an aggressive daytime biter which is attracted to humans. Humans are a major source, or reservoir, of Chikungunya virus for the mosquitoes. The mosquito usually transmits the disease by biting an infected person and then biting someone else. An infected person cannot spread the infection directly to other persons (i.e. it is not a contagious disease).
The Chikungunya disease resembles dengue fever, and is characterized by severe, sometimes persistent, joint pain (arthiritis), as well as fever and rash. Chikungunya is generally seen to occur in urban /peri-urban areas of Africa, India and Southeast Asia. There is no specific treatment for chikungunya. It can be prevented by avoiding mosquito bites in areas where chikungunya virus may be present, and by eliminating mosquito breeding sites.

Why is the Chikungunya test done?
This test is done to check for IgM antibodies against the virus.

What are the common signs/symptoms when the Chikungunya test is done?
The incubation period (time from infection to illness) can be 2-12 days, but is usually 3-7 days. If there is infection with the Chikungunya virus, several symptoms may be seen, some of which might include:

  • High Fevers (typically greater than 102° F)
  • Rash
  • Pain in the Lower Back
  • Joint Pain (with or without the presence of swelling)
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Chills
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Loss of taste in the tongue
  • Mouth ulcers

In fact, Chikungunya fever has very similar symptoms as that of dengue. However, as a viral disease it cannot be transmitted from human to human and is relatively non-fatal. Typically, the fever lasts for two days and then ends abruptly. However, other symptoms namely swelling of joints, stiffness, myalgia (muscular pain), intense headache, insomnia and an extreme degree of prostration, last for a variable period; usually for about 5 to 7 days. Severe joint pain (arthritis) is the most common feature of the disease. Joint pains may be seen for much longer time periods; some as long as 2 years, depending on the age of the patient.

Who should do the Chikungunya test (Target population)?
Persons who are at a high risk of exposure to infected mosquitoes and hence infection or those showing symptoms or physical findings (e.g., joint swelling).

What should I do before the Chikungunya test?

Specimen type

Specimen collection procedure

Preparatory instructions before the test *

Serum (Blood Sample)

Venipuncture - Collection of blood from a vein, usually from the arm.

No Fasting Required.

No other special preparations required.

*Subjects suffering from any illness or on oral or injectable medications are advised to consult their physician prior to requesting any tests or procedures.

How do I interpret my Chikungunya test results?

Reference Range*



No infection

‘*A Reference range is a set of values which helps the healthcare professional to interpret a medical test. It may vary with age, gender, and other factors. Reference ranges may also vary between labs, in value & units depending on instruments used and method of establishment of reference ranges’

Diseases/conditions related to the Chikungunya test

  • Dengue

Other tests related to the Chikungunya test

  • Dengue antibodies

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Chikungunya (IgM)