VRL announces that we now have Zika virus RT-PCR available for testing non-human primate samples:
Zika virus RT-PCR       Order Code 8581      
Specimen Requirements:
0.5-1 ml serum or CSF (collect within 7 days of symptom onset), 0.5-1 ml urine (collect within 30 days of symptom onset), ship overnight with ice packs; 1 cm3 fresh frozen tissue, frozen as soon as possible at -70°C, ship overnight with dry ice.
Zika virus is an emerging mosquito-born virus in the genus Flavivirus. It was first discovered from a rhesus monkey in the Zika forest of Uganda in 1947.  The outbreaks in humans have been reported in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. Since 2015, it further spreads in the Americas. The symptoms in infected humans are usually mild (include fever, headache, malaise, skin rash, joint pain, muscle pain and conjunctivitis) and only last for 2-7 days. Zika virus is mainly transmitted through the bit of infected mosquitos (Aedes spp.), same vectors that spread dengue, chikungunya, and yellow fever viruses. It can also be transmitted by sexual contact, blood transfusion or from mother to fetus during pregnancy.
Non-human primates are known to be susceptible to Zika virus infection, but the prevalence rate is unknown. Serological diagnosis is to detect of Zika virus-specific IgM by ELISA or IFA during the acute infection stage (3-10 days after onset of symptoms) and during the convalescent stage (2 weeks after acute sample). Results show seroconversion (from negative to positive) or four-fold increase on the antibody titer can be confirmed by testing for Zika virus specific neutralization antibody (IgG) using plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT). Due to serologic cross-reactivity may occur between Zika virus and other flaviviruses (e.g., dengue, yellow fever, St. Louis encephalitis, Japanese encephalitis, West Nile), molecular diagnosis to detect viral RNA by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in acute specimens provides a specific, sensitive and rapid alternative method for Zika virus early detection.
If you have any questions, please contact either Dr. Chih-Ling Zao at Chih-Ling.Zao@vrl.net  (210-615-7275 Ext 853) or Anthony Cooke at Anthony.Cooke@vrl.net  (210-615-7275 Ext 850).