Ixchiq: The First Chikungunya Vaccine Approved by the US FDA

The US Food and Drug Administration approved Ixchiq, the first chikungunya vaccine, for individuals 18 years of age and older who are more vulnerable to mosquito-borne viruses.
The Chikungunya virus is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, which can also transmit dengue and Zika viruses 
(Representational image: CDC PHIL)
The Chikungunya virus is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, which can also transmit dengue and Zika viruses (Representational image: CDC PHIL)

On Thursday, the world's first Chikungunya vaccine was authorized by the US Food and Drug Administration. The vaccine was developed by Europe’s Velneva and marketed under the name Ixchiq. The vaccine is administered to individuals aged 18 years and older who are at risk of exposure. The approval of the vaccine is expected to speed up the vaccine rollout in the major countries where the virus is active.

Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral disease that is caused by the Chikungunya virus (CHIKV), an RNA virus in the alphavirus genus of the Togaviridae family. The Chikungunya virus is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, which can also transmit dengue and Zika viruses. Symptoms include fever, severe joint pains, and other common signs are joint swelling, muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue, and rash. Generally, it was seen in tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, Southeast Asia, and parts of America. According to the World Health Organization, chikungunya was first identified in Tanzania in 1952, and since then, it has been recorded in more than 110 countries.

The Food and Drug Administration called Chikungunya “an emerging global health threat.”
(Representational image: CDC PHIL)
The Food and Drug Administration called Chikungunya “an emerging global health threat.” (Representational image: CDC PHIL)

Peter Marks A senior FDA official said, Chikungunya virus infection can lead to extreme illness and lengthened health problems, particularly for older adults and individuals with underlying medical conditions”.

The Food and Drug Administration called Chikungunya “an emerging global health threat”. However, the Chikungunya virus has spread to new geographical areas, causing a rise in the global prevalence of the disease, the FDA said. Ixchiq is a single-dose vaccine, a live-attenuated version of the Chikungunya-causing virus, that is administered into the muscle as an injection. Two clinical trials were conducted in North America on 3,500 people and they encountered Headache, fatigue, muscle and joint pains, fever, and nausea were commonly reported side effects. During the trials, serious reactions were reported in 1.6 percent of the individuals who received the vaccine. Moreover, two required hospitalization. Adverse reactions last for at least 30 days in some recipients.

Today's approval addresses an unmet medical need and represents significant progress in the prevention of a potentially debilitating disease with limited treatment options," said Peter Marks.

(Input from various media sources)    

References:

1) https://www.who.int/health-topics/chikungunya

2) https://www.paho.org/en/topics/chikungunya

(Rehash/Lavanya Beeraboina)                                               

The Chikungunya virus is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, which can also transmit dengue and Zika viruses 
(Representational image: CDC PHIL)
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