In Nigeria, there is paucity of information on the epidemiology of infections due to Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) especially among patients with febrile illness. Cases of febrile illness are usually associated with malaria and typhoid fever without considering the possibility of viral aetiology. This study was designed to determine the prevalence and identify other epidemiological parameters of CHIKV infections among outpatients with febrile illness attending University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Nigeria. Sera from 370 patients were tested for presence of CHIKV immunoglobin (Ig) IgM and IgG antibodies using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Of the 370 sera tested, 39 (10.5%) were positive for presence of CHIKV antibodies. A total of 24 (6.5%) tested positive for CHIKV IgM only, while none (0.0%) was positive for the presence of CHIKV IgG only. Fifteen (4.1%) of the serum samples simultaneously reacted to both IgG and IgM antibodies. A significant difference (p<0.0001) was observed in the distribution of CHIKV antibodies in relation to gender. The males had prevalence of 8.5% IgM antibodies as against 4.6% in females, 4.6% of females were positive for both CHIKV IgG and IgM antibodies, compared to 3.4% in males. The age group ≤60 years and the undisclosed age group were positive for the presence of CHIKV IgG and/or IgM antibodies. No significant difference was observed in the seasonal prevalence of CHIKV antibodies among the study subjects. Analysis of the prevalence of CHIKV antibodies in relation to clinical presentation in the patients revealed that headache and fever were the most frequently encountered ailments.
Key words: Chikunguya, antibodies, Borno.
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