Laboratory Services

Zika Virus, PCR, Molecular Detection, Serum

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Updated Test Information:

Test Description
Zika Virus, PCR, Molecular Detection, Serum

Zika; Microencephaly; Vector-Borne Illness

Test ID
General Information

Useful for:

  • Qualitative detection of Zika virus RNA in serum from individuals meeting CDC Zika virus clinical or epidemiologic criteria

  • Provides qualitative detection of Zika virus RNA from serum collected during the acute phase of infection

  • This test is intended for the evaluation of pregnant women and symptomatic nonpregnant individuals with potential exposure to Zika virus

  • Due to similar clinical presentations, testing for RNA or IgM-class antibodies to dengue and chikungunya viruses, concurrently with Zika virus testing, is strongly recommended.

  • For the most up-to-date Zika epidemiology and testing recommendations, visit

  • See Assessment for Zika Virus Infection

  • See also Mosquito-borne Disease Laboratory Testing


Specimen Type


Specimen Requirements

  • Preferred: Serum Gel (SST)

  • Acceptable: Red Top

Specimen Collection / Processing Instructions

  • Collect whole blood in a serum gel tube

  • Centrifuge and aliquot the serum into a sterile container within 6 hours of collection

  • Label specimen as serum.

Required Information

  • Order questions and answers concerning pregnancy, exposure, and display of symptoms are required

    • Is patient pregnant?

    • Has patient had Zika exposure?

    • Has patient been symptomatic?


  • Refrigerated (preferred): 7 days

  • Frozen: 7 days

Unacceptable Specimen Conditions

All specimens will be evaluated at Mayo Clinic Laboratories for test suitability.


  • This assay is for in vitro diagnostic use under the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) only

  • Negative Zika virus RT-PCR results do not preclude infection with Zika virus and should not be used as the sole basis for patient treatment or management decisions. All results should be interpreted by a trained professional in conjunction with review of the patient's exposure history and clinical signs and symptoms

  • False-negative results may arise from degradation of Zika virus RNA during incorrect shipping or storage, and specimen collection after the period that Zika virus RNA is typically found in the patient (7 days after onset of symptoms.)


Real-Time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)/DNA Probe Hybridization

Estimated TAT

5-8 days

Testing Schedule

Tuesday, Thursday


7 days

CPT Code(s)


Additional Information
Minimum Sample Volume

0.25 mL

Reference Range


Performing Lab


LOINC Code(s)

85622-9, 11449-6, 88636-6, 75325-1, 69048-7