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BMC Infect Dis. 2018 Jan 22;18(1):49. doi: 10.1186/s12879-018-2965-4.

Study on the persistence of Zika virus (ZIKV) in body fluids of patients with ZIKV infection in Brazil.

Author information

Acute Febrile Illnesses Laboratory, Evandro Chagas National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.
Department of STI, AIDS and Viral Hepatitis, Secretary for Health Surveillance, Ministry of Health Brazil, Brasilia, Brazil.
Tropical Medicine Foundation Doctor Heitor Vieira Dourado (FMT-HVD), Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil.
Aggeu Magalhães Research Center, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil.
Acute Febrile Illnesses Laboratory, Evandro Chagas National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Flavivirus Laboratory, Oswaldo Cruz Institute/Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Department of Communicable Diseases and Health Analysis, Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization, Washington DC, USA.
Public Health Department, University of Brasilia, Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization, Brasilia, Brazil.
Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, USA.



Zika virus (ZIKV) has been identified in several body fluids of infected individuals. In most cases, it remained detected in blood from few days to 1 week after the onset of symptoms, and can persist longer in urine and in semen. ZIKV infection can have dramatic consequences such as microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome. ZIKV sexual transmission has been documented. A better understanding of ZIKV presence and persistence across biologic compartments is needed to devise rational measures to prevent its transmission.


This observational cohort study will recruit non-pregnant participants aged 18 years and above with confirmed ZIKV infection [positive reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test in blood and/or urine]: symptomatic men and women in ZIKV infection acute phase, and their symptomatic or asymptomatic household/sexual infected contacts. Specimens of blood, urine, semen, vaginal secretion/menstrual blood, rectal swab, oral fluids, tears, sweat, urine and breast milk (if applicable) will be collected at pre-established intervals and tested for ZIKV RNA presence by RT-PCR, other co-infection (dengue, Chikungunya, HIV, hepatitis B and C, syphilis), antibody response (including immunoglobulins M and G), plaque reduction neutralization test (if simultaneously positive for ZIKV and dengue), and ZIKV culture and RNA sequencing. Data on socio-demographic characteristics and comorbidities will be collected in parallel. Participants will be followed up for 12 months.


This prolonged longitudinal follow-up of ZIKV infected persons with regular biologic testing and data collection will offer a unique opportunity to investigate the presence and persistence of ZIKV in various biologic compartments, their clinical and immunological correlates as well as the possibility of ZIKV reactivation/reinfection over time. This valuable information will substantially contribute to the body of knowledge on ZIKV infection and serve as a base for the development of more effective recommendation on the prevention of ZIKV transmission.


NCT03106714 . Registration Date: April, 7, 2017.


Arbovirus; Body fluids; Emerging infectious diseases; Flavivirus; Persistence; Rt-Pcr; Zika virus

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