Comparison of test results for Zika Virus RNA in urine, serum, and saliva specimens from persons with travel-associated Zika Virus Disease

Added January 16, 2017

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Results of testing conducted at Florida Department of Health Bureau of Public Health Laboratories suggest that urine might be the preferred specimen type to identify acute Zika virus disease.

Zika virus is excreted in multiple body fluids, including urine and saliva which may provide appropriate specimens for Zika virus diagnostic tests. A comparison of reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test results for urine and serum specimens from 66 persons with suspected Zika virus disease was performed. Specimens were collected on the same date. Results indicated that twice as many urine specimens (n=61) than serum specimens (n=31) tested positive for Zika. No results from RT-PCR testing of serum specimens were positive >5 days after symptom onset; results from testing nine of 11 urine specimens were positive. A further comparison of 53 persons with Zika virus disease with urine, saliva, and serum specimens collected on the same date found positive results from testing in 49 (92%) urine specimens, 43 (81%) saliva specimens, and 27 (51%) serum specimens. Limitations were discussed.