Zika Virus Detection Strategies

All over the world, laboratories noticed an increase in demand for Zika Virus Detection and diagnosis. Specially beacause of the recent increase in cases of microcephaly and other neurological disorders associated with Zika virus infection.

Zika virus detection specimens

Zika Virus is present in whole blood (serum and plasma), urine, cerebrospinal fluid, amniotic fluid, semen and saliva. Zika virus is also present in urine and semen for longer periods than in whole blood or saliva.

Zika Virus Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT)

Whole blood , serum collected in a dry tube and/or urine collected from patients presenting with onset of symptoms ≤ 7 days

dna
Zika Virus Serology IgM detection

Zika Virus Serology IgM detection

Whole blood collected in a dry tube and serum collected from patients presenting with onset of symptoms ≥ 7 days. Wherever possible, paired serum specimens should be collected at least 2-3 weeks apart, ideally with the first serum specimen collected during the first 5 days of illness.

Zika Virus testing strategy

Testing approaches vary depending on the prevalence of viruses known to be circulating in the area where the patients were exposed :
– NAT in patients presenting with onset of symptoms 7 days.

Zika Virus testing strategy
Zika Virus sample

Zika Virus sample processing and storage

When using commercial assays, specimens should be collected, transported and stored according to the manufacturer’s instructions. In all other circumstances it is recommended that specimens be kept refrigerated at 2-8ºC and tested within 48 hours. If there is a delay of more than 48 hours before testing, serum should be separated and stored separately. All types of specimens may be kept frozen at -20°C for up to 7 days. For storage longer than 7 days, specimens should be frozen at -70°C.

Zika Virus Detection Methodology

– The presence of Zika Virus may be confirmed by using NAT such as RT-PCR to detect targets on the virus genome specific for Zika virus.
– Recommended serological assays include enzyme immunoassays (EIAs) and immunofluorescence assays (IFA) detecting IgM antibodies.
– In general, a reactive result for Zika virus IgM in the absence of IgM to dengue or other flaviviruses suggests recent exposure to Zika virus.

Zika Virus Detection Methodology
Zika Virus Biosafety

Zika Virus Biosafety

Diagnostic laboratory work, including reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis and serological testing on clinical specimens from patients who are suspected or confirmed to be infected with Zika Virus, should be conducted under Biosafety Level 2 (BSL-2) in appropriately equipped laboratories by staff trained in the relevant technical and safety procedures

Zika virus shipping specimens

Specimens known to be, or suspected of, containing Zika Virus may be shipped on dry ice as biological substances category B, UN3373. International regulations, as described in the WHO Guidance on Regulations for the Transport of Infectious Substances 2015-2016 should be followed.

Zika virus shipping specimens
Zika Virus in vitro diagnostic (IVDs)

Zika Virus in vitro diagnostic (IVDs)

Consideration must be given to the design and performance of the diagnostic products to ensure that testing is safe and effective. To date, few commercially available Zika virus IVDs have undergone regulatory assessment of quality, safety or performance.

Tommy Ounas

Tommy Ounas

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