Innovations in Biotechnology and Medical Sciences

FDA Approves World’s First Chikungunya Vaccine: Ixchiq


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Chikungunya , Ixchiq

Mains level : Not Much

Central Idea

  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US granted approval for the world’s inaugural vaccine against chikungunya.

Ixchiq: The Chikungunya Vaccine

  • Developed by European vaccine manufacturer Valneva, this vaccine will be available under the brand name Ixchiq.
  • It has been authorized for use in individuals aged 18 and above who are at elevated risk of chikungunya exposure.
  • It is administered as a single dose via injection into the muscle.
  • The vaccine contains a live, attenuated (weakened) form of the chikungunya virus. It may induce symptoms similar to those experienced by individuals with the disease.

Understanding Chikungunya

  • Symptoms: Chikungunya is characterized by severe joint pain, limited mobility, and accompanying fever. It is a viral infection (CHIKV) primarily transmitted by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, earning it the status of an “emerging global health threat.”
  • Global Prevalence: Chikungunya is prevalent in Africa, Asia, and the Americas, with sporadic outbreaks reported in other regions. Since 2004, outbreaks have become more frequent and widespread, partly due to viral adaptations facilitating transmission by Aedes albopictus mosquitoes.
  • Symptoms: Alongside joint pain, chikungunya symptoms include joint swelling, muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue, and rash. While severe cases and deaths are rare, they may be underreported due to misdiagnosis, often confused with dengue or zika.
  • No Cure: Currently, there is no cure for chikungunya, and treatment is primarily focused on symptomatic relief, including analgesics for pain, antipyretics for fever, rest, and adequate fluid intake.
  • Prevention: Prevention efforts primarily revolve around mosquito control through public health initiatives, civic maintenance, and personal measures such as using medicated mosquito nets and eliminating stagnant water sources to hinder mosquito breeding.

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