Test: Zika Virus RNA Detection 
  Synonym: Arbovirus, Zika RT-PCR 
  Method: RT-Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) 
  Availability: Test performed Monday-Friday; Turn-around time less than 1 week 
  Specimen: Serum, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) 
  Collection Device: Clot (Red) or SST(Gold) tube
CSF collection tube
Sterile, leak-proof container (urine)

Specimen Labeling: Test subject to CLIA regulations and require 2 patient identifiers on specimen container and requisition forms. 
  Volume: Serum or urine: 1 mL (minimum:0.5 mL). Additional testing for Chikungunya and dengue requires separate containers.
CSF: 1.0 mL 
  Storage/Transport: Centrifuge and aliquot serum into sterile leak-proof tube, ASAP. Transport CSF, urine, and serum at 4°C.

Shipping instructions, including specimen handling requirements during transport: Sender should contact the NPHL by email or phone before shipping. Ship specimen Monday -Thursday overnight to avoid weekend deliveries. Refrigerated, specimen should be shipped on cold packs. Package and ship as Category B, Biological Substance, UN3373. See instructions and shipping address: http://nphl.org/. Do not send directly to CDC. 
  Unacceptable: Severely lipemic, icteric or hemolyzed samples; heat-inactivated serum; multiple freeze thaw cycles 
  Specimen Stability: 2-8 °C for 72 hours, if > 3 days, freeze 
  Reference Interval: NEGATIVE – No significant level of detectable Zika virus
POSITIVE – Zika virus RNA detected 
  Reportable Disease: A positive result is reportable as Arbovirus infection under Title 173, report within 7 days 
  Comments: Pre-approval needed from state or local health department. Local or State Health Department. Send approval to NPHL@unmc.edu or call (402) 559-9444.

Supplemental Forms Required - NPHL Special Microbiology Requisition must accompany the specimen to include the following information: symptoms and date of onset, pregnancy status, travel and vaccine history.


Molecular detection of Zika virus RNA is most reliable on specimens collected within 14 days of symptom onset. Refer to Zika Virus Antibody IgM test for specimens collected after 14 days. 
  Revised: 8/3/2016