A study conducted by an international team of researchers with FAPESP’s support shows that infection by the chikungunya virus can produce even more severe manifestations than the typical symptoms of the disease, such as acute fever, headache, rash, and intense joint and muscle pain.
The analysis was performed by 38 researchers affiliated with the Federal University of Ceara (UFC), the University of Sao Paulo (USP), and the Ministry of Health in Brazil, and with Imperial College London and Oxford University in the United Kingdom. Their main discovery was that chikungunya can infect the central nervous system and impair cognitive and motor functions.
The study was conducted under the auspices of the Brazil-UK Center for Arbovirus Discovery, Diagnosis, Genomics, and Epidemiology (CADDE). It also derived from Souza’s postdoctoral research, part of which he pursued at Oxford University in the UK with FAPESP’s support via a Research Internship Abroad. Researchers affiliated with several different institutions collaborated on the project, which was also supported by Brazil’s National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq).