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Clinical & Virologic & Characteristics of Zika Virus Infection

Open Forum Infect Dis; ePub 2018 Dec 19; El Sahly, et al

In a large cohort of US patients with suspected Zika virus (ZIKV) infection, ZIKA RNA detection was more frequent and prolonged in whole blood specimens, a recent study found. The study examined the clinical, virologic, and immunologic characteristics of ZIKV infections in this population. Clinical data and specimens were prospectively collected for ZIKV RNA detection, and serologic and cellular assays. Confirmed ZIKV infection (cases) and ZIKV-negative (control) subjects were compared. Dengue-experienced and dengue-naïve cases were also compared. Researchers found:

  • 45 cases and 14 controls were enrolled.
  • The sensitivity (94%) and duration of infection detection by PCR was highest in whole blood specimens.
  • ZIKV neutralizing antibodies had a half-life of 105 days and were significantly higher in dengue-virus experienced cases vs naïve ones.
  • Robust cellular responses to E and non-structural proteins have potential vaccine development implications.


El Sahly HN, Gorchakov R, Lai L, et al. Clinical, virologic and immunologic characteristics of Zika virus infection in a cohort of US patients: Prolonged RNA detection in whole blood. [Published online ahead of print December 19, 2018]. Open Forum Infect Dis. doi:10.1093/ofid/ofy352.