The US-based firm Beaumont Health has developed a new urine test for rapid detection of the Zika virus.
Led by Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Michigan, urology scientist Dr Laura Lamb, the research team developed a quick, simple test that is easy to administer and delivers results in 30 minutes.
The new test aims to address the concerns with current procedures, which require medical staff to draw blood and send it for a four-week analysis.
Dr Lamb said: "Most adults with Zika have mild flu-like symptoms or no symptoms at all. Couples trying to conceive might not even know if they are infected and at risk.
"When we discovered we could reliably detect Zika virus in urine, we knew we had the potential to change lives all over the world.”
While the study has been funded by the Maureen and Ronald Hirsch family philanthropic fund, it is still in the research phase and is believed to need more funding and resources for worldwide access.
Based on the concept of the new test, Dr Lamb and their Beaumont colleagues are further working towards developing new diagnostic tests for other infectious diseases.
Dr Lamb further added: "We are currently working on developing a urine-based test that would allow for rapid and accurate detection of not only Zika but also viruses such as dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya and West Nile virus.
"Detecting these viruses earlier allows us to provide treatment faster and potentially save lives."
Image: New urine test to detect Zika virus in 30 minutes. Photo: courtesy of PRNewsfoto/Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Michigan.