Chikungunya (CHIK) is a viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes. The first cases in Brazil were confirmed in 2014. Between 2016 and 2017, over 300,000 cases were identified during this period, with nearly 300 deaths. The clinical manifestations, pathogenesis and risk factors for occurrence of severe cases are not yet well understood, although it is known that the severity of the cases is associated with the presence of comorbidities, especially diabetes mellitus (DM).
To review the medical literature for the associations between DM and CHIK and to understand the potential impact on metabolic state and its complications.
Literature review was carried out to search for articles (English, Portuguese and Spanish) in Medline and Virtual Health Library databases for the period between 1952 and 2017, with the following keywords: “Chikungunya fever”, “Chikungunya virus”, “diabetes mellitus”, “diabetes”, “diabetes complications “and “multi-morbidities (MeSH) “with interposition of the Boolean operator “AND”.
After removal of duplicities and following exclusion criteria, 11 articles were selected. Our results showed that the patients of CHIK with DM had more severe and prolonged symptoms of CHIK and more frequently required hospitalization. No study investigated the biological process to explain how hyperglycemic state worsened the clinical manifestations of Chikungunya in diabetic patients.
An important association between DM and the severity of CHIK is observed. Prospective and more rigorous controlled studies are required to generate evidence that might y elucidate the causes of this relationship. Given the fast expanding viral infection of Chikungunya in Central and South America, Asia and Africa in recent years in the context of exponential increase in diabetes globally, the issue deserves global attention.