U.S. Army Wages War Against Chikungunya

U.S. Army Wages War Against Chikungunya

Chikungunya is an infection caused by chikungunya virus (CHIKV), which is usually spread between people by two types of mosquitos (Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti). CHIKV infection can cause the serious fever to severe joint pains (arthritis) persisting for weeks, months, or even years after recuperation.

The risk of death associated with the CHIKV infection is around 1 in 1000 and it is estimated that the population at risk of contracting CHIKV infection is greater than 3 billion people.

In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, the leading national public health institute of the U.S.) reported the first case of CHIKV contracted in the U.S. in Florida. As of now, there are no approved or licensed vaccines to prevent CHIKV infection. But with the recent patent filed by the U.S. Army, a vaccine that immunizes against CHIKV is developed.

As per the patent, the CHIKV infection can be prevented with a composition comprising a purified inactivated CHIKV. The purified inactivated CHIKV is a vaccine consisting of chikungunya virus that has been grown under controlled laboratory conditions and then killed.

More specifically, in order to obtain the purified inactivated CHIKV, firstly the chikungunya virus is propagated in an inoculated cell culture. Then, the virus fluids are harvested and isolated from the inoculated cell culture that will prepare a CHIKV concentrate. Further, the CHIKV concentrate is then purified and inactivated (e.g. by contacting the CHIKV concentrate with a chemical inactivating agent such as formalin or beta-propiolactone) in order to recover the inactivated purified CHIKV.

Patent Information
Publication Number: US20190054161A1
Patent Title: Inactivated vaccine for chikungunya virus
Publication date: 2019-02-21
Filing date: 2017-01-13
Inventors: Stephen J. Thomas, Kenneth H. Eckels, Joseph R. Putnak, Richard G. Jarman
Assignee: US Secretary of Army