First chikungunya animal model created in France

Researchers have developed the first animal model of the infection caused by chikungunya virus (CHIKV), an emerging arbovirus associated with large-scale epidemics that hit the Indian Ocean, seriously affecting the French Island of La Reunion in 2005, before spreading to India, and Italy in 2007. Using a mouse model, scientists of the Pasteur Institute and INSERM in France determined which tissues and cells are infected by the virus in both the mild and severe forms of the disease. They document their findings in an article published in the latest issue of the US online open-access journal PLoS Pathogens. With the model, the researchers show how after an initial phase of viral replication in the liver, the infection extends to the joints, muscles and skin