Zika Diagnositics in the Media

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.

FDA Gives Emergency Use Authorization to CDC-Developed Zika Test

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.

For more information, read the FDA and CDC press releases.

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.

New Developments in Zika Testing

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.

If you’d like to learn more, read the MD Biosciences and GenArraytion press releases.

Edit 3/11/2016: Turns out FDA has something to say about the MD Biosciences test. Read about it in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Listen: Zika Virus Podcast

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.

Give it a listen.

Zika Virus

If you’re an infectious disease geek and you’ve been following the news, you know that the Zika virus is causing a pandemic in Central and South America and is linked to cases of microcephaly in those regions. It’s gotten bad enough fast enough that the CDC has issued travel warnings for pregnant women and women of child-bearing age.

If you’d like to get up-to-date on this outbreak, check out Maryn McKenna’s blog on National Geographic. Also, the CDC has great information for clinicians and laboratory professionals.