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Zika Virus Detection in Pregnant Women

Obstet Gynecol; ePub 2016 July 29; Meaney-Delman, et al

Zika virus RNA was detected in the serum of 5 pregnant women beyond the previously estimated timeframe, according to an analysis of the clinical and laboratory characteristics of pregnant women with prolonged detection of Zika virus RNA in serum reported to the US Zika Pregnancy Registry. Prolonged detection of Zika virus RNA was defined as Zika virus RNA detection in serum by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) 14 or more days after symptom onset or, for women not reporting signs or symptoms consistent with Zika virus disease, 21 or more days after last possible exposure. Researchers found:

  • 4 symptomatic pregnant women identified with prolonged Zika virus RNA detection in serum up to 46 days after symptom onset and in 1 asymptomatic pregnant woman 53 days postexposure.
  • 1 pregnancy among the 5 had evidence of fetal Zika virus infection confirmed by histopathologic examination of fetal tissue.
  • 3 pregnancies resulted in live births of apparently healthy neonates with no reported abnormalities.
  • 1 pregnancy was ongoing.


Meaney-Delman D, Oduyebo T, Polen K, et al. Prolonged detection of Zika virus RNA in pregnant women. [Published online ahead of print July 29, 2016]. Obstet Gynecol. doi:10.1097/AOG.0000000000001625.