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

and for the ZIKABRA Study Team

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background: 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. Methods: 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. Discussion: 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. Trial registration:NCT03106714.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number49
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 22 2018


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

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases


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