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Primary isolation and phylogenetic studies of Chikungunya virus from Surabaya, Indonesia

Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a mosquito-borne virus that causes Chikungunya fever (CHIKF) in humans. Although CHIKF was initially thought to be a mild disease, recent outbreaks in the Indian Ocean region showed that it can be lethal. The predominant mosquito vector for CHIKV is Aedes aegypti, but an amino acid substitution (from alanine to valine) at position 226 in the viral E1 envelope protein increases the susceptibility of Aedes albopictus to CHIKV, which
may allow the virus to spread to temperate areas currently inhabited by this species. More recently, autochthonous
transmission of CHIKV was reported in Italy and France, raising concerns that CHIKF may no longer be restricted to cases imported from tropical countries, where CHIKF is endemic. In Japan, only imported CHIKF cases have been recorded, and more than a half of these were seen in patients returning from Indonesia. There have been no reports on the isolation of CHIKV in Surabaya, the second-largest city in Indonesia, which is located in East Java. Therefore, we
collected sera from recent dengue fever (DF)- or CHIKF-suspected patients and mosquito samples in Surabaya for CHIKV isolation and phylogenetic analysis.

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