Reumatología Clínica (English Edition) Reumatología Clínica (English Edition)
Reumatol Clin 2018;14:97-105 - Vol. 14 Num.2 DOI: 10.1016/j.reumae.2017.01.005
Review Article
Tropical Arthritogenic Alphaviruses
Alfavirus tropicales artritogénicos
Carla-Ruth Mejía, Rogelio López-Vélez,
Unidad de Referencia Nacional para Enfermedades Tropicales, Servicio de Enfermedades Infecciosas, Hospital Universitario Ramón y Cajal, Madrid, Spain
Received 17 July 2016, Accepted 19 January 2017

Tropical alphaviruses have special tropism for bone and joint tissue. Patients can develop chronic rheumatic disorders similar to rheumatoid arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. The prototype is Chikungunya virus, although other lesser known viruses in our environment such as Sindbis, Ross River, Mayaro, O’nyong nyong and Barmah Forest viruses have the potential to be sped through vectors and cause chronic rheumatic disease.

International population movements have increased the numbers of patients diagnosed with these tropical viruses in areas in which they are not endemic. Since they can leave persistent symptoms and affect the quality of life of the patients, it is important that we be aware of them. Changes in ecosystems have favored the expansion of competent mosquitoes, making fears of local transmission in southern Europe a reality.

The objective of this review is to provide a clinical approach to the different arthritogenic tropical alphaviruses, especially those in which chronic rheumatic disease is more frequent.


Los alfavirus tropicales tienen especial tropismo por el tejido osteoarticular. Los pacientes desarrollan cuadros crónicos reumatológicos similares a la artritis reumatoide y la espondilitis anquilosante. El prototipo es el virus Chikungunya, aunque otros virus menos conocidos en nuestro medio como Sindbis, Ross River, Mayaro, O’nyong nyong y Barmah Forest tienen un potencial para propagarse a través de vectores y causar cuadros reumatológicos crónicos.

Los movimientos poblacionales internacionales han aumentado el número de pacientes diagnosticados por estos virus tropicales en zonas no endémicas. Dado que pueden dejar secuelas y afectar la calidad de vida, es importante conocerlos. Los cambios en los ecosistemas han favorecido la expansión de mosquitos competentes, haciendo realidad el temor de transmisión local en el sur de Europa.

El objetivo de esta revisión es dar una aproximación clínica de los distintos alfavirus tropicales artritogénicos, especialmente de aquellos en los que la patología reumática crónica es más frecuente.

Infectious arthritis, Chronic arthritis, Alphavirus
Palabras clave
Artritis infecciosa, Artritis crónica, Alfavirus


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Reumatol Clin 2018;14:97-105 - Vol. 14 Num.2 DOI: 10.1016/j.reumae.2017.01.005
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