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CDI labs work on new biomarkers for zika infection

Proteomics company leverages microarray capability to develop a high-throughput test that detects and discriminates between Zika and Dengue viruses.

Newly published research in Molecular & Cellular Proteomics describes a biomarker panel based on patient IgM antibodies that can differentiate between Zika and Dengue virus infection for a prolonged period after initial exposure. CDI’s expertise in protein microarrays was instrumental in the development of this assay.
Zika virus (ZIKV) and dengue virus (DENV) are closely related flaviviruses that cause widespread, acute febrile illnesses.  Being able to differentiate between ZIKV and DENV over a longer period of time is critical because ZIKV is known to cause of microcephaly and severe brain abnormalities in utero and has been linked to other birth defects while DENV has not. The current approved RT-PCR tests can only detect ZIKV infection specifically within seven days from the onset of any symptom. As the infection progresses, clinicians or diagnosticians must rely on IgM-based ELISA assays which cannot reliably distinguish ZIKV infection from DENV infection. Therefore, development of a serological biomarker(s) that can detect and discriminate between the two infections is very important.
The participants in this study included labs from Johns Hopkins (Drs. Heng Zhu and Jiang Qian), UPenn, Florida State, along with a great deal of work from the labs of Drs. Jorge L. Muñoz-Jordan and Freddy A. Medina at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dengue Branch
“CDI is glad it could help on this study. Being based in Puerto Rico, the Zika problem is a personal one for us,” said Scott Paschke, CDI Vice President. “Working on this important problem alongside these top scientists was indeed a pleasure and we hope it leads to large scale adoption of utilizing this panel for accurate diagnosis of Zika, as well as development of additional tests and treatments.”