Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Justin G Julander


Justin G. Julander


Brian B. Gowen


S. Clay Isom


Chikungunya is a mosquito-transmitted disease caused by Chikungunya virus (CHIKV). Symptoms of Chikungunya include debilitating joint pain and swelling, fever and rash. CHIKV was first discovered in 1953 in Tanzania, and has since caused periodic outbreaks of disease. The virus reemerged recently in 2004 and has since spread around the world affecting more than 3 million people. The different strains of CHIKV have been grouped into three phylogenetic clades: West African, Asian and East/Central/South African (ECSA). There are no FDA approved medicines or vaccines used to treat or prevent CHIKV infection. The antiviral drug, T-705 (commercially known as Favipiravir), has recently been shown to have activity against CHIKV. T-705 has already been approved in Japan for the treatment of influenza and is currently going through clinical trials in the US.

Since there may be phenotypic differences between the clades of CHIKV, it is important to first characterize distinctions between the strains and determine the susceptibility of these strains to treatment. To do this, we obtained two different CHIKV strains from each of the three phylogenetic groups. These CHIKV strains displayed differences in their ability to replicate in cell culture and exhibited only slight differences in susceptibility to T-705 treatment. However, more profound differences were observed in mouse models where differences in disease severity and response to T-705 treatment were observed.