Since the discovery of the Zika virus in Uganda in 1947, diagnostic challenges remain, especially when we take into account the epidemiological context of the surveyed population. Genetic similarities with other flavivirus are responsible for cross-reactivity during serological evaluation that would often be the only resources to confirm the infection in asymptomatic cases or samples collected after the short window of viral RNA detection. The importance of Zika virus infection diagnosis is undoubtedly useful for pregnant women. This statement became evident after 2015 Brazil’s Zika outbreak when a significant increase in cases of newborn with microcephaly was observed. Reverse transcriptase real-time PCR is the most reliable tool for Zika virus infection diagnosis. It detects viral RNA in both biological fluids and tissues and contributes to clinical case classification for initial description of developmental changes observed in neonates exposed congenitally to Zika virus. In conclusion, advances in serological diagnostic are urgent. The safest pathway for these studies requires laborious, subjective, and low throughput PRNT evaluations. Consequently, critical public health questions remain unanswered: how serum prevalent is the general population and pregnant women; can we define risk for congenital Zika syndrome (CZS) and Guillain-Barré syndrome; and how to assess vaccine efficacy and long-term protection.
Part of the book: Biochemical Testing