Science writer Maryn McKenna has a great write up about the feasibility of keeping mosquito-borne viruses–Zika in particular–out of the US blood supply. You can read about it at her blog Phenomena.
Today NPR featured a write up about how to test for the Zika virus. While It didn’t delve into the diagnostic testing side of things as much as Lab Medicine’s recent podcast, it does give readers a good overview. In addition, it highlights how critical laboratory professionals and pathologists are to public health and infectious disease prevention.
At the end of February, the FDA authorized the emergency use of the CDC’s test for Zika infection. This test is called the CDC Zika IgM Antibody Capture Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (Zika MAC-ELISA), and detects antibodies against the Zika virus. This test will be distributed to qualified laboratories that perform high-complexity testing.
Along the same lines, Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics has developed a real-time PCR assay for Zika virus and intends to apply for Emergency Use Authorization for the test in the US, according to GenomeWeb.
Two companies have recently announced development and/or release of Zika virus assay. MD Biosciences has released a rapid assay to detect the virus in human blood and urine samples, and Luminex is partnering with University of São Paulo, Brazil to validate an assay that detects multiple infectious agents, including Zika.
Edit 3/11/2016: Turns out FDA has something to say about the MD Biosciences test. Read about it in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
Dr. Diamond from the Washington University School of Medicine talked with Lab Medicine about all things Zika Virus: a brief history of the virus, modes of transmission, and the implications for laboratory professionals and pathologists.