Chikungunya : discovery of a human-specific factor involved in the virus replication
Scientists from the Institut Pasteur, Inserm and CNRS, have identified a human-specific factor involved in the replication of Chikungunya virus which accounts for the species specificity of this virus.
Chikungunya virus is an emerging virus that in 2005 caused, for the first time, an outbreak in La Réunion island, a French overseas district where more than 30% of the population was infected, and has recently emerged in temperate regions of Europe.
The identification of this new host factor enriches our understanding of the molecular bases of Chikungunya virus infection, which were characterized so far. This work also paves the way for the development of a more relevant humanized animal model to better understand the pathophysiology of infection. This research has been published online on April 26, at the European Molecular Biology Organization reports (EMBO reports).