Bio-Techne launches assay for Zika virus detection


US-based Bio-Techne has launched a new serological assay under its R&D Systems brand for detecting infections caused by the Zika virus. 

The sensitive and specific solid phase, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) will measure anti-Zika virus immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies in human serum. 

Before performing the new test, samples will be pre-treated with a specific reagent developed to reduce interfering serum proteins that might cause a false positive result. 

Upon testing, the R&D Systems Anti-Zika Virus IgG ELISA Kit was found to be highly sensitive to anti-Zika virus IgG and had low cross-reactivity with dengue virus IgG antibodies. 

The kit is expected to be beneficial for detection of the infection in samples that were collected five or more days after the onset of symptoms, as well as for samples collected from areas where the disease is known to co-circulate with dengue virus. 

"With the recent Zika virus outbreak, we recognise the need for more research dedicated to understanding the biology of emerging viruses."

Bio-Techne Biotechnology division senior vice-president Dave Eansor said: "With the recent Zika virus outbreak, we recognise the need for more research dedicated to understanding the biology of emerging viruses.

"We are excited to contribute to this field by focusing on the development of new reagents for detecting viral infections and monitoring anti-viral immune responses." 

The kit can also be used to detect any previous infections and identify if the virus might lead to subsequent neurological disorders or foetal abnormalities. 

In addition to the new treatment, Bio-Techne has another Zika virus assay called RNAscope under its Advanced Cell Diagnostics (ACD) brand. 

The RNAscope assay is designed to detect low levels of viral RNA in any tissue sample.