|Alarming reports are coming out of Brazil linking Zika viral infection in pregnant women to microcephaly birth defects in newborns. Apparently, the incidence of microcephalic births has skyrocketed in Brazil, and the Ministry of Health (MoH) of Brazil is taking notice of the unusual increase of babies being born with microcephaly. On December 8, 2015, the urgency led the MoH to provide the Pan American Health Organization/ World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) with an update regarding the unusual increase in the number of babies being born with abnormally small heads.
Although the exact cause remains to be determined, as of December 15, 2015 it has been reported over 130 Brazilian babies have been born in 2015 with abnormally small heads or microcephaly as a result of the Zika virus. Tragically, laboratory testing has definitely linked at least one infant death to the Zika virus also known as Zika fever or disease.
It is likely that Zika virus is responsible for many more microcephaly cases. Apparently out of the more than 2400 babies suffering from microcephaly in Brazil, Zika virus has been ruled out as the cause in only a small fraction or less than 5% of these cases. This means that we might be seeing even more reports linking Zika virus to microcephaly, a devastating and lifelong birth defect associated with a shortened life span. This situation is catching the attention of researchers worldwide and understandably there is a push to identify Zika virus infection and elucidate probable links between Zika virus, pregnancy, and birth defects.
Researchers are reporting that Zika virus is also being linked to Guillain-Barre syndrome as well as other neurological and autoimmune diseases, which is contributing to the urgency in harnessing the virus. Unfortunately, Zika infection is increasing in several other Latin American countries as well. Zika, like Chikungunya and dengue fever, is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Zika, an envelope virus with an RNA genome, belongs to the Flaviviridae family of viruses. Humans and mammals are the natural hosts, and there is increasing concern the infection could spread beyond Latin America.
MyBioSource has heard the call to action, and now offers Zika ELISA Kits and PCR Kits for researchers trying to understand more about the virus. The sandwich ELISA kits are designed for qualitative determination of activated Human Zika Virus IgM (ZV-IgM) or IgG (ZV-IgG) in serum, plasma, tissue homogenate, cell culture supernatents and other biological fluids:
The Zika Virus Real time RT-PCR Kit (Catalog #MBS598109) is used for detecting Zika virus in serum or plasma by using real time PCR times. The Kit can be used for quantitative or qualitative real-time RT-PCR (reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction). The ELISA and RT-PCR Zika Kits are available to researchers worldwide. We also carry the Zika Virus Envelope Recombinant (Catalog #MBS319787) and Zika Virus NS1 Recombinant (Catalog #MBS319788) proteins in our catalog. For additional information about the Kits and other products, please refer to the online product manuals and contact MyBioSource.
- Qualitative Human Zika Virus IgG (ZV-IgG) ELISA Kit (Catalog #MBS109002)
- Qualitative Human Zika Virus IgM (ZV-IgM) ELISA Kit (Catalog #MBS109003)