Friday, 28 October 2011

Chikungunya may cause psoriasis

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad:  With chikungunya cases on the rise in the State,
doctors warn that this viral fever can trigger a number of skin
infections including psoriasis.

Psoriasis, a major skin problem characterised by silvery patches, has
no known cure and doctors do not know how it occurs. Though the
problem has been known for several centuries, cure still eludes the
psoriasis patients.

A research study by a team of doctors from Katuri Medical College in
Guntur district has revealed that chikungunya can trigger psoriasis.
It can aggravate subsided cases, besides triggering new cases of the
disease.

"Several factors cause psoriasis, though the exact cause is not clear
yet. We know that an infection can trigger psoriasis. But it is for
the first time we have noticed that chikungunya, caused by a virus, is
capable of triggering psoriasis. Those with a genetic susceptibility
are more vulnerable," senior dermatologist Dr KA Seetaram, one of the
researchers, told this correspondent.

Of the 10 cases where chikungunya was linked to psoriasis, four were
first time psoriasis cases. Six patients had the problem, but
chikungunya had aggravated the skin condition. "We have to understand
the mechanism how viral infections lead to immune aberrations," he
added.

The team in an earlier study found that chikungunya triggered
psoriasis in 7.6 per cent of children affected by the virus. Guttate
psoriasis was noticed in 3.8 per cent of children hit by chikungunya.

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