When is Zika virus infection testing indicated in pregnant women?

Updated: Dec 11, 2018
  • Author: Bhagyashri D Navalkele, MD, MBBS; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Pregnant women with a history of travel to an area with Zika virus transmission with two or more of the following symptoms within 2 weeks of travel or who have ultrasound findings of fetal microcephaly or intracranial calcifications should be tested for Zika virus infection:

  • Acute onset of fever
  • Rash
  • Arthralgia
  • Conjunctivitis 

The CDC recommends Zika nucleic acid testing three times during pregnancy among women with ongoing potential Zika virus exposure. They no longer recommend routine immunoglobulin antibody testing in asymptomatic women, since immunoglobulin M (IgM) antibodies may persist more than 12 weeks, complicating differentiation between infections that began before pregnancy from infections that began during pregnancy.

The CDC also recommends that all pregnant women and women who are planning pregnancy be asked about potential Zika exposure at every prenatal visit. [32]

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