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From 2018 to 2020, the Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) outbreak re-emerged in Thailand with a record of more than 10,000 cases up until the end of 2020. Here, we studied acute CHIKV-infected patients who had presented to the Bangkok Hospital for Tropical Diseases from 2019 to 2020 by assessing the relationship between viral load, clinical features, and serological profile. The results from our study showed that viral load was significantly high in patients with fever, headache, and arthritis. We also determined the neutralizing antibody titer in response to the viral load in patients, and our data support the evidence that an effective neutralizing antibody response against the virus is important for control of the viral load. Moreover, the phylogenetic analysis revealed that the CHIKV strains we studied belonged to the East, Central, and Southern African (ECSA) genotype, of the Indian ocean lineage (IOL), and possessed E1-K211E and E1-I317V mutations. Thus, this study provides insight for a better understanding of CHIKV pathogenesis in acute infection, along with the genomic diversity of the current CHIKV strains circulating in Thailand.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Tropical Medicine, Mahidol University, Bangkok 10400, Thailand.


Humans, Chikungunya virus, Phylogeny, Thailand, Antibodies, Neutralizing, Chikungunya Fever