Chikungunya virus: Role of vectors in emergence from enzootic cycles

Scott C. Weaver, Rubing Chen, Mawlouth Diallo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Chikungunya virus (CHIKV), a re-emerging mosquito-borne arbovirus, has caused millions of cases of severe, often chronic arthralgia during recent outbreaks. In Africa, circulation in sylvatic, enzootic cycles involves several species of arboreal mosquito vectors that transmit among diverse nonhuman primates and possibly other amplifying hosts. Most disease occurs when CHIKV emerges into a human-amplified cycle involving Aedes aegypti and sometimes Aedes albopictus transmission and extensive spread via travelers. Epidemiologic studies suggest that the transition from enzootic to epidemic cycles begins when people are infected via spillover in forests. However, efficient human amplification likely only ensues far from enzootic habitats where peridomestic vector and human densities are adequate. Recent outbreaks have been enhanced by mutations that adapt CHIKV for more efficient infection of Ae. albopictus, allowing for geographic expansion. However, epistatic interactions, sometimes resulting from founder effects following point-source human introductions, have profound effects on transmission efficiency, making CHIKV emergence somewhat unpredictable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-332
Number of pages20
JournalAnnual Review of Entomology
StatePublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Culicidae
  • arbovirus
  • chikungunya
  • evolution
  • mosquito
  • vector

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Insect Science


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