Connective tissue metabolism in chikungunya patients
1 Department of Biotechnology, Sri Krishnadevaraya University, Anantapur, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Anantapur, India
Virology Journal 2008, 5:31 doi:10.1186/1743-422X-5-31Published: 27 February 2008
Chikungunya (CHIK) fever is a viral disease transmitted to humans by the bite of Chikungunya virus (CHIK virus) infected Aedes mosquitoes. CHIK virus is a member of the Alphavirus genus of the family Togaviridae. Previous reports have indicated that infection with CHIK virus produces an acute arthritis in human hosts by large area of necrosis and collagenosis or fibrosis.
We carried out the present study to determine the effect of chikungunya on the collagen and connective tissue metabolism in 75 chikungunya-affected people. First, we screened for mucopolysaccharides in urine by Cetyl Trimethyl Ammonium Bromide (CTAB) test. Appearance of heavy precipitate indicates the presence of higher levels of mucopolysaccharides and later quantified by DMB dye method. The urinary mucopolysaccharide in CHIK patients was 342 ± 45 mg/l compared to healthy controls (45 ± 5.6 mg/l). The collagen building blocks, proline and hydroxyproline were also measured in CHIK patients and observed higher excretion compared to healthy controls. Urinary excretions hydroxyproline was greater than the proline levels.
These results indicate that CHIK virus infection affects and damage the cartilage and connective metabolism and releases the degraded products from the tissue and responsible for increasing the levels of proline, hydroxyproline and mucopolysaccharides in CHIK affected patients.