Chikungunya in Mauritius

21 Jul
Published by vishwadev


Request for Help


general open research
i recently came across this wonderful site and i am pleased that it is doing a very noble work of doing open source research for non-profit motives.
I have a request if you don't mind. I am from a tropical island called Mauritius found in the indian ocean. A few months back our island and our neighbour island reunion got badly struck with the chikungunya disease and it has affected our economy and people very much.
No drugs are available apart from pain killers and some of the patients (including my mother) are having ever lasting pain. maybe you could please place chikungunya in your research calendar as no labs are coming with drugs or enough research on this project. Maybe because it is a problem not affecting big european countries...
here in Mauritius, for the time being it is under control because it is winter and the insects/vectors are having difficulty to reproduce. But we are dreading the return of summer in November. I wish there were enough reseach in this field but there are not many promising ones at present. Therefore i am very humbly requesting you to put your expertise together and come forward with a research programme on this disease so that it can be controlled or cured.
Thank you.


gtaylor's picture


I'm very sorry to hear about this tragedy on your island. I will gladly open a research community on The Synaptic Leap for Chikungunya. However we need at least one scientist willing to research openly and invite other collaborators on our site. We need an online leader for the disease.

If anybody is conducting research on this disease and is interested, please contact me

Warmest regards,



This is a viral infection. Meaning - it will take about the same amount of efforts as e.g. development  of AIDS vaccine. Worse yet, it is not considered fatal and life-threatening. So, no wonder that nobody undertakes the research.

MSDS on the virus ( says it is pretty fragile, what includes susceptibility to 70% alcohohol. If I was hit by the virus, I'd try to stay drunk for couple of days. Yet ethanol is a good pain reliever too. Not an advice, of course, just a thought.

Thank you for the interest shown on this issue.

Yes, it is not life threatening and maybe this is why scientist are not so keen. But you know what?

skin and hair care products do not save life but you will find a wide range of such products on the pharmacy shelves. The pain caused by chikungunya is sometime so hard to sustain that some older people are unable to survive it. And those who are cardiac or have other health complication, contracting chikungunya only makes it worst for them.

Any remedy for chikun will surely get a commercial success and may recover its cost. But it will be a big favour on the victims and would be really nice if they are given some effective treatment.

Thank you


 - vishwadev  




gtaylor's picture

While checking out PLoS I recently ran across a good article on chikungunya:Genome Microevolution of Chikungunya Viruses Causing the Indian Ocean Outbreak

I proceeded to add it to my connotea bookmarks. I decided to explore and there are other articles on  And looking there, you can also see who else is  linking to chikungunya.

Dear Ginger Taylor,

Thank you for the information. It clearly give an account of what happened and what may happen in the coming summer season which is perfect for mosquitoes to populate and eggs to be laid.

I was wondering if once somebody gets chikunkunya, will he or she be immunised?

I heard an expert saying something like that in Mauritius but i am not sure coz fever will surely occur after the nites. Any clarifications please.


Thank you





gtaylor's picture

My background is software and my goal is to provide a service (this site) for the scientists. Therefore I don't  think it's appropriate for me to answer questions such as this. I sent an email to the author of the PLoS article to see if she would answer it for you. So far, no reply. But she could be a bit busy...

It would be great if a scientist on the site could answer the question:

"I was wondering if once somebody gets chikunkunya, will he or she be immunised?"

Signon to post a reply.


rayonsoleil's picture

It appears there is immunity. Il s'avère qu'il y a d'immunité.

See the two references below. "Infection appears to confer lasting immunity." "Host Defenses -- Initial resistance is conferred by nonspecific defenses such as interferon. Antibodies are important in recovery and resistance, and T-cell responses are also involved. Lasting protection is generally restricted to the same alphavirus and is associated with, but not solely attributable to, the presence of neutralizing antibodies."

rayonsoleil's picture

The information below (in French and hopefully translated faithfully into English) is from:

"On a trouvé la clé du virus"

Philippe Gasque, professeur de biochimie à luniversité de La Réunion, a rendu publics mardi les résultats de la recherche clinique menée sur la physiopathologie du chikungunya à loccasion de la visite de la cellule nationale de recherche sur le chikungunya. Une étude qui sintéressait aux mécanismes du virus à lorigine des pathologies telles que larthrite, lencéphalite et toutes autres complications auto-immunes. Lobjectif étant dessayer de comprendre comment le virus était capable daffecter les cellules. "On a trouvé la clé du virus, se félicite le Pr Gasque. On a pu démontrer que la cellule principalement affectée était le fibroblaste (cellule qui consolide nos tissus, ndlr)." Le Chik induit une activité toxique sur les fibroblastes qui vont ensuite multiplier énormément le virus. Mais une fois que la cellule est toxique, elle ne joue plus son rôle physiologique. Ce qui crée des désordres inflammatoires dans les tissus. "Ça va nous aider pour bloquer la capacité du virus à infecter le fibroblaste", indique le Pr Gasque.

"We have found the key to the virus"

Philippe Gasque, professor of biochemistry at the University of Réunion, made public Tuesday the results of the clinical research undertaken on the physiopathology of chikungunya, at the time of the visit of the National Group of Research on Chikungunya.

A study had inquired into mechanisms of the virus at the beginning of pathologies such as arthritis, encephalitis and autoimmune complications, the objective being to try to understand how the virus was able of affecting cells.

"We have found the key of the virus," said the pleased Prof. Gasque. "We have been able to show that the most-affected cell was the fibroblast (the cell which consolidates our tissues)."

"Chik induces a toxic activity on fibroblasts which then multiply the virus enormously. And once the cell is toxic, it can no longer play its normal physiological role. [This is] what creates inflammatory disorders in tissues.

"This will help us block the capacity of the virus to infect the fibroblast", indicates Prof. Gasque.