The world's leading provider of clinical laboratory services has announced the availability of a new Zika antibody test service. Quest Diagnostics offers access to the said service.
It was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The test was licensed by CDC in Quest Diagnostics and other national reference laboratories. It was based on the Zika Immunoglobulin M (IgM) Antibody Capture Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (Zika MAC-ELISA).
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized it for emergency use, according to Quest Diagnostics.
The Zika Battle In The US
The new Zika antibody test service should help the U.S. in its battle against Zika. The test services will be accessible through 2,300 service centers. 260 of these centers are in Florida. These will not only be for the people in the United States. Citizens from Puerto Rico and other territories will also receive assistance.
The CDC revealed that there were 20,870 confirmed cases of Zika virus in the U.S. and its territories. 3,176 of these are in the US. In Florida alone, there are 639 cases, 43 of it were locally acquired.
Quest's Vice President of Research and Development Rick L. Pesano has commented on this test. He said that Quest provides robust, complementary range of Zika test options. It is being used to aid diagnosis of Zika infection.
He also boasted the national scale, diagnostic expertise and relationships with half of the country's physicians. It will be an increasingly important complement to public health response. It is mostly beneficial when there's an increase in both suspected Zika cases and demand for testing.
The Molecular Real-time PCR Test
The molecular real-time PCR test will identify the presence of Zika virus RNA in a specimen, according to Healio. The antibody serology tests will identify the presence of antibodies created by the body. That is in response to the infection.
The molecular RT-PCR testing is useful up to 14 days since the start of the symptoms. It actually depends on the sample type and other factors. The IgM antibody testing will be most effective 2 to 12 weeks after the start of the symptoms.
Pesano added that the new test is particularly helpful to the state of Florida. He said that Quest operates a significant service infrastructure there.