Zika reference strain sequenced -- Will aid in diagnosis, screening
An international team of researchers has sequenced a strain of the Zika virus that will be used as a World Health Organization (WHO) reference strain to identify Zika virus infection in the blood, thus making it easier to diagnose the disease. While the reference material will undergo formal WHO review in October, the agency has given the go-ahead for the strain's use given the urgent need of medical products to diagnose and treat Zika. The sequence is published September 1st in Genome Announcements, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology. "WHO's go-ahead before it's expert committee meeting in October reflects the urgent need for researchers and companies to access valid reference material to diagnose Zika virus infection," said principal investigator Sally Baylis, PhD, senior scientist, Virus Safety section, Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, Langen, Germany. "This will facilitate the development of sensitive, better performing tests to detect Zika in patients."
Zika virus has been spreading across South and Central America since early 2015 and has now emerged in Florida. While most infections are mild and asymptomatic, the World Health Organization declared the current Zika epidemic a public health emergency of international concern because of complications that may arise in newborns when pregnant mothers contract the infection. Microcephaly and other central nervous system abnormalities have been detected in large numbers of fetuses and neonates since the epidemic struck Latin America. Guillain-Barré syndrome, a disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system, is also thought to be caused by Zika infection in a small number of adults.
Reference standards from the World Health Organization are used to harmonize assays for diagnostic testing, particularly in the case of acute infection, as well as assays that might be used to screen blood for transfusions, and to define regulatory requirements for test sensitivity where screening is implemented, explained Baylis.
Articles on the same topic
- Countries across Africa, Asia-Pacific vulnerable to Zika virus, new study findsThu, 1 Sep 2016, 19:14:35 EDT
- The Lancet Infectious Diseases: Climate and air travel maps identify countries in Africa and Asia at greatest risk of Zika virusThu, 1 Sep 2016, 19:14:21 EDT
- Strain differences in Zika infection gene patternsThu, 1 Sep 2016, 13:05:32 EDT
- Where's Zika going next? Maybe China, India, or Nigeriafrom AP HealthSat, 3 Sep 2016, 10:01:28 EDT
- Climate, air travel maps identify countries in Africa, Asia at greatest risk of Zika virusfrom Science DailyFri, 2 Sep 2016, 15:31:39 EDT
- Zika remains global emergency, virus still spreading, says WHOfrom CBC: HealthFri, 2 Sep 2016, 10:01:13 EDT
- Zika reference strain sequenced, will aid in diagnosis, screeningfrom Science DailyFri, 2 Sep 2016, 6:01:32 EDT
- Where's Zika going next? Maybe China, India, or Nigeriafrom AP ScienceThu, 1 Sep 2016, 22:21:20 EDT
- Tests Confirm Mosquitoes in Miami Beach Are Carrying Zika Virusfrom NY Times HealthThu, 1 Sep 2016, 20:41:14 EDT
- Strain differences in Zika infection gene patternsfrom Science DailyThu, 1 Sep 2016, 15:31:43 EDT
- Florida Mosquitoes Test Positive For Zika Virusfrom PopSciThu, 1 Sep 2016, 15:31:30 EDT
- Florida finds Zika in trapped mosquitoes, 1st in US mainlandfrom AP HealthThu, 1 Sep 2016, 13:21:20 EDT
- Mosquitoes test positive for Zika virus for first time in U.S.from UPIThu, 1 Sep 2016, 13:01:53 EDT
- Zika outbreak: Miami Beach mosquitoes test positivefrom CBC: HealthThu, 1 Sep 2016, 13:01:14 EDT
- Poll: Half of Americans wary of travel to US Zika zonesfrom AP HealthThu, 1 Sep 2016, 10:51:32 EDT
- Poll: Half of Americans wary of travel to US Zika zonesfrom AP HealthThu, 1 Sep 2016, 5:01:15 EDT
- Female mosquitoes can transmit Zika virus to their eggs, offspringfrom Science DailyTue, 30 Aug 2016, 15:42:54 EDT