Research Highlight

Azide inactivates chikungunya virus

doi:10.1038/nindia.2012.191 Published online 28 December 2012

Researchers have shown that the compound 1,5 iodonapthyl azide or INA can completely inactivate the chikungunya virus (CHIKV). The finding can be explored to develop an inactivated-CHIKV vaccine.

The team had earlier found that INA and ultra-violet irradiation completely inactivated the Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (VEEV). They have now extended that approach to evaluate the inactivation of CHIKV.

CHIKV is a reemerging virus causing outbreaks in countries around the Indian Ocean and Africa since 2004. There are no specific drugs against CHIKV and patients are symptomatically treated with non steroid anti-inflammatory drugs.

The researchers evaluated the dose dependent inactivation of CHIKV181/25 by INA. They found cytopathic effect and virus replication in cells infected with the INA-inactivated CHIKV. However, a reduction in the INA-inactivated CHIK virus antibody binding capacity was observed by western blot analysis.

The researchers say the results suggest that testing of INA-inactivated CHIKV in animal models could show the efficacy of INA-inactivated CHIKV181/25 as a vaccine candidate, and its advantage over current approaches of generating inactivated vaccines.

The authors of this work are from: Department of Pathology, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland, USA; and Department of Biological Sciences, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, Rajasthan, India.


  1. Sharma, A. et al. Inactivation of Chikungunya virus by 1,5 iodonapthyl azide. Virol. J. doi: 10.1186/1743-422X-9-301 (2012)