Prolonged Detection of Zika Virus in Vaginal Secretions and Whole Blood

Kristy O. Murray; Rodion Gorchakov; Anna R. Carlson; Rebecca Berry; Lilin Lai; Muktha Natrajan; Melissa N. Garcia; Armando Correa; Shital M. Patel; Kjersti Aagaard; Mark J. Mulligan


Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2016;23(1) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Infection with Zika virus is an emerging public health crisis. We observed prolonged detection of virus RNA in vaginal mucosal swab specimens and whole blood for a US traveler with acute Zika virus infection who had visited Honduras. These findings advance understanding of Zika virus infection and provide data for additional testing strategies.


Zika virus is a rapidly emerging mosquitoborne virus.[1] In May 2015, Brazil reported autochthonous transmission of Zika virus.[2] Over the course of 1 year, Zika virus spread to >50 countries and territories throughout the Americas.[3] With the now confirmed link of Zika virus infection during pregnancy leading to fetal microcephaly [4] and reported cases transmitted by sexual contact,[5] it is vital to understand the natural history of infection. We report an acute case of Zika virus infection in a traveler returning from Honduras to the United States and results from serial specimens collected for >11 weeks. These new data might serve as a potential guide for public health policy.