Treatment of chikungunya musculoskeletal disorders: a systematic review

<p><b>Introduction</b>: Chikungunya virus is amongst the fastest expanding vector transmissible diseases in recent years and has been causing massive epidemics in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Despite human infection by this virus being first described in the 1950s, there is a lack of adequate therapeutic evaluations to guide evidence-based recommendations. The current guidelines rely heavily in specialists’ opinion and experience instead of using higher rated evidence.</p> <p><b>Areas covered</b>: A systematic review of the literature was performed- not restricted to clinical trials – reporting the therapeutic response against this infection with the intent to gather the best evidence of the treatment options against musculoskeletal disorders following chikungunya fever. The 15 studies included in the analysis were categorized considering the initiation of treatment during the acute, subacute and chronic phase.</p> <p><b>Expert commentary</b>: This review demonstrates the complexity of chikungunya fever and difficulty of therapeutic management. This review found no current evidence-based treatment recommendations for the musculoskeletal disorders following chikungunya fever. To provide an optimal treatment that prevents perpetuation or progression of chikungunya infection to a potentially destructive and permanent condition without causing more harm is an aim that must be pursued by researchers and health professionals working with this disease.</p>