Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its interim diagnostic testing guidance for Zika virus in public health laboratories based on preliminary data demonstrating that Zika virus can be found at higher levels or for longer duration in urine than in serum (blood):
• Zika virus rRT-PCR should be performed on urine collected ≤14 days after illness onset.
• Zika virus rRT-PCR should continue to be performed on serum specimens collected <7 days after illness onset.
• A positive Zika rRT-PCR result is evidence of a current Zika virus infection.
• Because viremia decreases over time and dates of illness onset may not be accurately reported, a negative rRT-PCR does not exclude Zika virus infection, and IgM antibody testing should be performed.
The CDC will continue to update this guidance because these data are preliminary and additional rRT-PCR data will become available. For more information about this guidance, see: Interim Guidance for Zika Virus Testing of Urine — United States, 2016/.