Zika detection in urine: reality?
Zika virus is a mosquito-borne Flavivirus that causes Zika Fever. Outbreaks of Zika infection have been reported in Africa, Asia and America. Most recently, the virus affected many regions of Latin America, with an estimated 440,000 to 1,300,000 cases in Brazil alone in 2015.
While most Zika infections are spread through mosquitos, the virus can be passed through sexual contact and blood transfusions. Pregnant women can also transfer the virus to their unborn child, leading to birth defects, notably microcephaly. Studies have shown links between the virus and other neurological disorders like Guillain-Barré Syndrome. Understanding ways of prevention and diagnosis are therefore critical to avoid long-term consequences, especially on future generations.
Once infected there are several ways to detect the disease. Zika virus RNA can be found in blood or other bodily fluids including saliva, semen or vaginal secretions.
Recently, urine sampling to detect the presence of the virus is gaining a lot of interest. Urine testing offers several advantages. A recent study suggests that the virus may be present in higher concentrations and for a longer period in urine samples than in serum samples (1). Further, urine sampling is non-invasive, easy to perform and can be conducted independently by men and women.
Colli-Pee, the patented and award-winning medical device by Novosanis, which allows effective capture of the first 20ml of urine (first-void urine), could support and help detect the disease in a simple and accurate way. The device has already shown improved diagnosis of several types of sexually-transmitted infections and early-stage cancers.
While more research on a larger cohort is needed to confirm the use of first-void urine as a sample type for Zika virus detection and screening, the current results are really promising. The results are being presented at the 28th ECCMID in Madrid, Spain (April 21-24, 2018).
Check out poster #P1342!
(1) Gourinat AC, O'Connor O, Calvez E, Goarant C, Dupont-Rouzeyrol M. Detection of Zika virus in urine. Emerg Infect Dis. 2015 Jan;21(1):84-6. doi: 10.3201/eid2101.140894. PubMed PMID: 25530324; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25530324/PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4285245.