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Chikungunya-Induced Arthritis in Reunion Island: A Long-Term Observational Follow-Up Study Showing Frequently Persistent Joint Symptoms, Some Cases of Persistent Chikungunya Immunoglobulin M Positivity, and No Anticyclic Citrullinated Peptide Seroconversion After 13 Years

Abstract : Background. Reunion Island was struck by a massive Chikungunya outbreak in 2005–2006. Chikungunya infection is characterized by inflammatory joint symptoms, which may evolve into chronic arthritis. Methods. In this long-term longitudinal observational monocentric study, after the 2005–2006 outbreak in Reunion Island, 159 patients were first referred to a rheumatologist for post-Chikungunya chronic musculoskeletal pain, 73 of them were diagnosed with classifiable Chikungunya-related chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases (>3 month symptom duration from the initial viral infection). Thirty of these 73 patients were clinically evaluated by a second rheumatologist in 2018–2019. The main objective of this second examination was to estimate the proportion of patients with persistent Chikungunya-related inflammatory joint symptoms after 13 years. Results. Inflammatory joint symptoms persisted in 17/30 patients after 13 years (therefore in at least 23.3% of the 73 patients initially diagnosed with Chikungunya-related inflammatory joint symptoms and 10.7% of the 159 patients referred for post-Chikungunya chronic musculoskeletal pain). In the symptom persistence subgroup, the prevalence of positive autoantibodies (antinuclear or ACPA) was significantly higher– without any seroconversion, Chikungunya IgG and IgM levels were higher, long-term IgM positivity and radiographic damage were more frequent. Overall, after 13 years, pain and fatigue levels remained significant, 5 patients were still treated by methotrexate, 3 by TNF-blockers, highlighting long-term Chikungunya-related patient burden. Conclusions. Such a long-term persistence of Chikungunyarelated chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases had not been reported so far. Furthermore, the long-term Chikungunya IgM positivity we observed in some cases might corroborate the hypothesis of residual viral antigen-driven chronic arthritis.
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Xavier Guillot, Anne Ribera, Philippe Gasque. Chikungunya-Induced Arthritis in Reunion Island: A Long-Term Observational Follow-Up Study Showing Frequently Persistent Joint Symptoms, Some Cases of Persistent Chikungunya Immunoglobulin M Positivity, and No Anticyclic Citrullinated Peptide Seroconversion After 13 Years. Journal of Infectious Diseases, Oxford University Press (OUP), 2020, 222, pp.1740 - 1744. ⟨10.1093/infdis/jiaa261⟩. ⟨hal-03321874⟩

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