NYU Dentistry Develops Saliva Test for Zika

From Washington Square News
March 1, 2018

Researchers at NYU Dentistry have developed a new test for Zika through using saliva samples instead of blood samples. The test, completed in collaboration with a molecular testing company named Rheonix, was adapted from previous research done by the same team on a saliva-based HIV test.

The Zika virus can be traced for a much larger window of time in saliva and urine than it can in blood. To detect the virus, the test must be able to locate certain pathogens and antibodies. Zika is largely spread through mosquitoes but can be transmitted from a mother to her fetus and through sexual intercourse. It has also been known to cause birth defects.

Testing for Zika using saliva is much quicker than testing through blood. Blood tests can take hours or days to obtain results while saliva tests can be completed in a matter of minutes.

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