Whole-Blood Testing for Diagnosis of Acute Zika Virus Infections in Routine Diagnostic Setting

Jolanda J.C. Voermans; Suzan D. Pas; Anne van der Linden; Corine GeurtsvanKessel; Marion Koopmans; Annemiek van der Eijk; Chantal B.E.M. Reusken


Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2019;25(7):1394-1396. 

In This Article


Our overall results indicate that, in our routine diagnostic algorithm in the absence of whole-blood testing, the infections of 5 of 227 patients would have been identified as probable Zika virus cases, whereas with whole-blood testing, they would have been identified as confirmed cases on the basis of positive qRT-PCR results. In cases for which only 1 sampling date would have been available, our systematic analysis showed that, of infections in 227 patients, 8 additional Zika virus cases would have been confirmed. Based on these observations, we conclude that individual patient care might benefit from whole-blood testing in a routine diagnostic laboratory setting, thereby possibly reducing the need for more specialized serology (i.e., comparative flavivirus neutralization tests) to confirm cases based on serology. Therefore, we have implemented whole-blood RT-PCR testing for Zika virus diagnostic requests in our routine diagnostic setup. Further studies in larger cohorts, including dengue and chikungunya virus testing, as well to address the often multiplex settings in endemic countries, are needed to demonstrate the general usefulness of our observations.