Zika virus PCR

Which test do we use?

Real-time RT-PCR for the detection of viral RNA of zika virus (ZIKV).

Sampling instructions

Serum/plasma (1ml), cerebrospinal fluid (350 µl), urine (≥ 5 ml), sperm (150 µl) in a sterile recipient.

Storage conditions

For stable RNA concentrations, serum and cells should ideally be separated immediately after sample collection. If this is not possible, the blood sample can be stored for up to 6 hours at 4°C.


Serum/ cerebrospinal fluid should be stored at 4°C until transport. Samples can be sent at room temperature, but transport time must be kept to a minimum (avoid weekends and holidays). Avoid repeated freezing and thawing of the samples.


Urine should be stored immediately at 4°C. If the sample can not be sent within 24 hours, the urine should be stored and sent at -20°C. Urine in Cobas® buffer (Roche Diagnostics P/N 06466281190) can be stored and sent at 15-30°C.


Store sperm at 4°C and send it as soon as possible. If transport within 24 hours is not possible, keep the sample at room temperature for 30 minutes until liquefaction, freeze it at -20°C and send it frozen.

Important advice

PCR on serum/ cerebrospinal fluid is only carried out on sample obtained at most 3-5 days after onset of fever. The virus is probably detectable longer in urine (± 15 days) and sperm.

PCR is complementary to the detection of antibodies against the virus.

Mention the country of origin, the date symptoms started and the date of sample collection on the request form.

Request form National Reference Center (NRC)


1x / week

Reference values


Delivery time of the result

On average: 4 days


Serum / urine: Yes

ISO 15189 – Belac 147-MED





Laatste wijziging op: 13/07/2023