Laboratory diagnosis is generally accomplished by testing seraum or plasma to detect virus-specific immunoglobulin (IgM, IgG) by means of an immunoassay. Since the symptoms and geographic spread of chikungunya and dengue fever overlap, a differential diagnostic work-up is of utmost importance, putting special performance demands upon diagnostic tests. Moreover, due to the absence of widespread seropositivity in the European population, any positive antibody test is suspicious for infection. In addition to the Chikungunya IgM µ-capture ELISA, CD offers an IgG capture ELISA. Both assays boast outstanding performance data.
Chikungunya fever is a viral febrile illness transmitted by several mosquito species. It may lead to severe arthralgia that may persist for weeks to months. Nevertheless, chikungunya fever is essentially self-limiting and non-fatal. Chikungunya has historically been limited to countries in Africa, the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. However, many tourist areas are now also affected by extensive outbreaks and increasing incidence, which is how the virus made its way to the Western Hemisphere, resulting in imported cases in a number of European countries. In 2006, several imported chikungunya cases were diagnosed in Northern Italy due to the presence of competent mosquito vectors for the chikungunya virus.