The presence of the Zika virus has been confirmed in the female genital tract, according to correspondence in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.1

Nadia Prisant, MD, of the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Pointe à Pitre in Guadeloupe, France and colleagues reported on a 27-year-old woman who had fever, conjunctivitis, and maculopapular rash in May of 2016 in Guadeloupe, an area that, according to researchers, had an official Zika virus outbreak since late April.

The patient was diagnosed with Zika via RealStar Zika Virus RT-PCR Kit 1.0 and had a positive blood test result but negative urine result. The researchers gathered genital and endocervical swabs in addition to a cervical mucous sample 3 days after symptoms began to test for Zika RNA. They reported that all samples tested positive.


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In an interview with Infectious Disease Advisor, Dr Prisant said that following their detection of Zika virus in the female genital tract, a team in New York demonstrated sexual transmission from a woman to a man, referring to the report in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention report in the July 22, 2016 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.2

In her interview, Dr Prisant said practicing physicians must emphasize to their patients that, “The Zika virus is also a sexually transmitted virus. It is important for women and specifically pregnant women to protect themselves during intercourse with potentially infected people. We were able to conclusively show the presence of the Zika virus in the genital tract of an infected woman, while at the same time making sure that the virus could not come from her partner.”

“We are currently trying to establish a pattern for the shedding of this virus in order to be able to counsel the patients more efficiently,” she added.

References

1. Prisant N, Bujan L, Benichou H et al. Zika virus in the female genital tract. Lancet Infect Dis. 2016;16(9)1000-1001.

2. Davidson A, Slavinski S, Komoto K et al. Suspected female-to-male sexual transmission of Zika virus — New York City, 2016. MMWR. 2016; 65(28):716–717.