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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 83

of 'Zika virus infection: An overview'

Persistence of Zika virus in conjunctival fluid of convalescence patients.
Tan JJL, Balne PK, Leo YS, Tong L, Ng LFP, Agrawal R
Sci Rep. 2017;7(1):11194. Epub 2017 Sep 11.
A widespread epidemic of Zika fever, caused by Zika virus (ZIKAV) has spread throughout the Pacific islands, the Americas and Southeast Asia. The increased incidences of ocular anomalies observed in ZIKAV-infected infants and adults may be associated with the rapid spread of ZIKAV. The objective of this study was to check if ZIKAV could be detected in human tears after the first week of infection. Twenty-nine patients with PCR confirmed ZIKAV infection during the Singapore August 2016 ZIKAV outbreak were enrolled for the study. Detection and quantification of ZIKAV RNA was performed on conjunctival swabs collected from both eyes of these patients at the late convalescent phase (30 days post-illness). Efficiency of viral isolation from swab samples was confirmed by the limit of detection (as low as 0.1 PFU/µL, equivalent to copy number of 4.9) in spiked swabs with different concentrations of ZIKAV (PFU/µL). Samples from three patients were found positive by qRT-PCR for ZIKAV and the viral RNA copy numbers detected in conjunctival swabs ranged from 5.2 to 9.3 copies respectively. ZIKAV could persist in the tears of infected patients for up to 30 days post-illness, and may therefore possess a potential public health risk of transmission.
Singapore Immunology Network, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), Singapore, Singapore.