UPDATED (Feb 6th 0700hrs): Illustrating the risks of proclaiming `Eureka!', Dr. Ian Mackay on his VDU blog has turned up at least one other instance of live Zika virus detected in urine in Urine found to contain infectious Zika virus...again...
It isn't news that traces of the Zika virus can be found in urine or saliva, as viral RNA has been detected using RT-PCR testing since 2014 (see Detection of Zika virus in saliva), What hasn't been demonstrated - until now - is the presence of live Zika virus in these bodily fluids.
The news hitting the AP and Reuters this morning has been the confirmation of live virus detection in saliva and urine by FIOCRUZ, Brazil's leading scientific research institute.
While the implications of this finding are not yet clear, this will raise new questions about the routes of transmission of the virus from human-to-human.
Excerpts from the FIOCRUZ (Fundação Oswaldo Cruz) statement follows:
Fiocruz detects the presence of zika virus with potential for infection in saliva and urine
Foundation's pioneering study Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz), a body linked to the Ministry of Health, found the presence of active virus zika (with potential to cause infection) in saliva and urine samples. The unpublished evidence, which suggests the need to investigate the relevance of these alternative routes of virus transmission was observed by Flavivirus of Molecular Biology Laboratory of the Instituto Oswaldo Cruz (IOC / Fiocruz).
The studies were led by researcher Myrna Bonaldo, head of the Laboratory, in collaboration with infectious Patricia Brazil, the National Institute of Infectious Diseases Evandro Chagas (INI / Fiocruz). Samples were analyzed regarding two patients and samples were taken during the presentation of symptoms compatible with zika virus. Aliquots of the samples were placed in contact with Vero cells, which are widely used in studies of viral activity in the case of the flavivirus family, which belong to the Zika virus, dengue and yellow fever, among others.
Scientists have observed the CPE caused the cells: we observed the destruction or damage of cells, which proves the viral activity. The presence of the genetic material of zika virus was confirmed by RT-PCR in Real Time. It was also performed the partial sequencing of the virus genome. Laboratory diagnosis ruled out the presence of dengue virus and chikungunya - for these analyzes, we used the NAT Kit Discriminatory for Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika recently developed by Fiocruz.
"It was known that the virus could be present in both urine and saliva. This is the first time we've demonstrated that the virus is active, ie, with the potential to cause infection, which opens new paradigms for understanding the transmission routes of the Zika virus. That answers an important question, however, the understanding of the epidemiological relevance of these potential routes of infection further studies "lies Myrna Bonaldo.
(Continue . . .)