Rapid and specific detection of Asian- and African-lineage Zika viruses
Understanding the dynamics of Zika virus transmission and formulating rational strategies for its control require precise diagnostic tools that are also appropriate for resource-poor environments. We have developed a rapid and sensitive loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay that distinguishes Zika viruses of Asian and African lineages. The assay does not detect chikungunya virus or flaviviruses such as dengue, yellow fever, or West Nile viruses. The assay conditions allowed direct detection of Zika virus RNA in cultured infected cells; in mosquitoes; in virus-spiked samples of human blood, plasma, saliva, urine, and semen; and in infected patient serum, plasma, and semen samples without the need for RNA isolation or reverse transcription. The assay offers rapid, specific, sensitive, and inexpensive detection of the Asian-lineage Zika virus strain that is currently circulating in the Western hemisphere, and can also detect the African-lineage Zika virus strain using separate, specific primers.