What are the CDC recommendations for testing of Zika virus infection?

Updated: Dec 11, 2018
  • Author: Bhagyashri D Navalkele, MD, MBBS; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Answer

The CDC offers the following recommendations for Zika virus testing:

  • Testing of specimens to assess risk of sexual transmission is not recommended. [24]
  • Individuals who have had possible sexual exposure to Zika virus and who develop signs or symptoms consistent with Zika virus disease should be tested. [24]
  • All pregnant women should be tested if they have had possible exposure to Zika virus, including sexual exposure. [24]
  • Real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR) is the preferred test for Zika virus infection because it can be performed rapidly and is highly specific when performed on urine collected less than 14 days after  symptom onset. [20]
  • Zika virus rRT-PCR testing of urine should be performed in conjunction with serum testing if using specimens collected less than 7 days after symptom onset. [20]
  • Because a negative rRT-PCR result does not exclude infection, immunoglobulin M (IgM) and neutralizing antibody testing should be performed to identify additional recent Zika virus infections. [23]

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