Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is an arthropod-borne alphavirus that causes acute and chronic arthritis. The virus reemerged in the Indian Ocean islands in 2005–2006 and is responsible for outbreaks in the Caribbean islands and the Americas since late 2013. Despite the wealth of research over the past 10 years, there are no commercially available antiviral drugs or vaccines. Treatment usually involves analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs, and supportive care. Most studies have been focused on understanding the pathogenesis of CHIKV infection through clinical observation and with animal models. In this review, the clinical manifestations of CHIKV that define the disease and the use of relevant animal models, from mice to nonhuman primates, are discussed. Understanding key cellular factors in CHIKV infection and the interplay with the immune system will aid in the development of preventive and therapeutic approaches to combat this painful viral disease in humans.


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