Dr. Ng and her colleagues discovered that an increase in the levels of IL-1β and IL-6, with a concomitant decrease in RANTES, was an indication of a severe form of CHIKF. This finding would allow for quicker and more accurate prognosis of infected patients.
The scientists also determined that the level of RANTES was lower in patients with severe CHIKF, as compared to those with dengue. This result could potentially enable physicians and scientists to distinguish quickly between CHIKF and dengue fever two diseases that present clinically similar symptoms.
SIgN Chairman Philippe Kourilsky, Ph.D., said, "This is indeed a significant breakthrough in the research on Chikungunya fever, which is emerging as a threat in South-East Asia, the Pacific and Europe. The landmark findings are a testament to the successful collaboration between a basic research institute and a hospital, where both parties combine their resources and expertise to achieve clinical relevance. SIgN will continue to work with our partners in the hospitals to better understand the disease and translate such findings into relevant clinical outcomes." In addition to TTSH, SIgN has clinical collaborations with Alexandra Hospital, Singapore General Hospital and National University Hospital, in research areas such as immunology and cancer studies.
Associate Professor Leo Yee Sin, M.D., Clinical Director of CDC at TTSH, said, "This study proves that cytokines could be used as biomarkers in predicting the severity of the disease. They provide immunological information for us to understand the causal effect of Chikungunya in the human host. Further research along a similar vein is ongoing with a larger number of cases from later Chikungunya outbreaks that had occurred in Singapore."
Research is now underway in Singapore to ascertain the immune and pathogenic mechanisms behind CHIKF, which could guide th
|Contact: Cathy Yarbrough|
Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore