State of knowledge on Zika virus for an adequate laboratory response

Added October 3, 2016

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The evidence provides essential Zika virus knowledge to the world laboratory community and identifies knowledge gaps.

The current epidemic of Zika virus has resulted in a large increase in diagnostic requests in the Americas and elsewhere when travelers return from affected areas. This review aimed to assess the current state of knowledge on Zika virus diagnostics and identify knowledge gaps. The study reviewed background information on Zika virus, diagnosis, geographic spread, pathogen characteristics, life-cycle, infection kinetics, available tests for molecular-based and serology-based diagnosis and biosafety issues. Specifics of tests used for human Zika virus diagnosis were discussed in the context of the current outbreak strain. Risk of bias was no assessed. The study identifies knowledge gaps on the following areas: field validation of tests, genomic monitoring of circulating strains, external quality assessments of tests, insights in infection kinetics and availability of reagents for diagnosis. The authors urged a World Health Organization coordinated international laboratory response to address the knowledge gaps and to put in the public domain, as soon as possible, the obtained knowledge.