Zika Virus Detected in Human Saliva
Confirming the detection of Zika virus in human saliva, as reported last July in the Journal of Clinical Virology.
Confirming the detection of Zika virus in human saliva, as reported last July in the Journal of Clinical Virology, and by researchers at Brazil’s Oswaldo Cruz Foundation earlier this year, an Italian team has also found evidence of the Zika virus in salivary samples. In the Italian study, live virus was found in the saliva of an Italian woman who got sick in January after returning from the Dominican Republic. The discovery raises concerns about the possibility of human-to-human transmission via saliva.
As published in Eurosurveillance, active Zika virus was detected in salivary samples of the Italian patient six days after symptom onset. Follow-up tests of saliva, urine and blood suggested prolonged viral shedding at higher levels in saliva and urine than in blood for up to 29 days after symptom onset. The team notes that while this indicates the utility of salivary testing for Zika, additional study is needed regarding the possible risk of salivary transmission.