Image: Research shows Zika fever symptoms are often misdiagnosed due to its nonspecific clinical symptoms, so a highly accurate diagnostic assay for Zika virus is especially important (Photo courtesy of the American Society for Microbiology).
Researchers have found that an available clinical assay could reliably detect Zika virus from semen samples spiked with low levels of recombinant Zika virus.
The study was presented at ASM Microbe 2017 (New Orleans, LA, USA) by researchers at the Fertility and Cryogenics Lab (Downers Grove, IL, USA).
A total of 100 semen samples were spiked with a recombinant Accuplex ZIKV (SeraCare Life Sciences) at 5 viral copies per ml, processed in Aptima Urine Transport medium (Hologic Inc.), and tested using Aptima ZIKV assay released under the FDA’s emergency-use authorization (EUA) on Hologic’s automated Panther system from Hologic. The samples were also tested for West Nile Virus, Chagas and Dengue, recombinant Dengue Virus, recombinant Chikungunya Virus, Human Papilloma Virus, Herpes Simplex Virus 1, Herpes Simplex Virus 2, Chlamydia, and Gonorrhea. The experiment was repeated 3 times and in triplicates each time. The assay was found to be 100% sensitive and 100% specific to Zika virus RNA from semen samples, with a limit of detection of 5 viral copies per mL of semen.
“This assay can help reduce Zika infection rates and allow couples who are identified at risk due to travel or geographic location plan their pregnancy,” said lead author Hisham Greiss MD, PhD, HCLD at the Fertility and Cryogenics Lab.
Fertility and Cryogenics Lab