Brazil approves rapid test for Zika detection

The product, provided by Canada-based BioCAN Diagnostics lab, takes 20

Published in 16/02/2016 - 09:38 By Aline Leal reports from Agência Brasil - Brasília

The National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA) approved the registration of a rapid Zika test Monday (Feb. 15). The product, provided by Canada-based BioCAN Diagnostics laboratory, takes 20 minutes to detect if the patient has been infected Zika.

The widest-used existing test in Brazil to diagnose Zika is the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), which only detects the virus at the acute disease stage. The newly-approved rapid test is the fourth product approved by ANVISA to diagnose Zika, and the third able to identify if the patient has had the disease even after the virus is gone, because detection is based on the presence of antibodies.

The need for greater test availability for detecting Zika increased after the Ministry of Health confirmed that infection with the virus at pregnancy is likely to lead to the baby having microcephaly, a brain malformation.

In 2014, before the virus was in wide circulation in the country, 147 cases of microcephaly were reported. But between October 2015 and early February 2016, more than 460 cases were confirmed, out of which 41 were established to have been related to Zika infection. Over 3,852 suspected cases of the malformation are under investigation.

Translated by Mayra Borges

Fonte: Brazil approves rapid test for Zika detection

Edition: Fábio Massalli / Augusto Queiroz

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