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Novel blood test may detect Zika more accurately

IANS  |  New York 

A new blood test may extend the window of accurate detection from weeks to months after the onset of Zika infection, giving clinicians a powerful new tool to screen for Zika throughout pregnancy, a new study led by an Indian-orgin suggests.

with during raises risk for neurodevelopmental problems in the offspring, including -- a condition in which a baby's is significantly smaller than expected -- in at least one in ten pregnancies.

The blood test called ZIKV-NS2B-concat ELISA improves on existing options, providing an accurate and cost-effective means to determine whether a patient was infected, days or months after exposure, the said.

"Many people infected by Zika have only mild illness, or are unable to see a clinician in the early, acute phase of Our new test greatly extends the window during which an individual can be assessed with accuracy," said Nischay Mishra from the and Immunity (CII) at

The blood test quickly detects up to 200 samples in four hours and the researchers anticipate its cost will be similar to other ELISA tests used in clinical settings, the said.

"An affordable and accurate test for is critical for public health," said W. Ian Lipkin, of the study published in the journal mBio.

To develop and evaluate the test, the researchers analysed blood samples collected from children in the Nicaraguan Pediatric Cohort Study, all of whom had previously tested positive for

Using a microarray, they identified a unique peptide sequence -- a short section of amino acids -- that binds with to Zika virus but not with to similar viruses like dengue, yellow fever, and

Next, the researchers customised a low-cost testing technology called enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to work with the sequence-improving on current versions of the ELISA test which use larger sections proteins that bind to the virus.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, March 06 2018. 19:10 IST