Thermo Fisher Scientific, the world leader in serving science, is now offering the first test kits available in the U.S. to enable serological detection of the Zika virus in research applications.

The kits, manufactured by EUROIMMUN AG, can differentiate between Zika, dengue and chikungunya viruses. These tests also enable researchers to detect the virus in samples over a much longer period of time than is possible with current direct-detection assays.

The EUROIMMUN Anti-Zika Virus ELISA and indirect immunofluorescence (IFA) test formats allow researchers to detect specific antibodies (IgM and IgG) in blood samples. The highly specific viral antigen used in the assays virtually eliminates cross reactivity with other flavivirus antibodies that are known to interact with the Zika virus, enabling reliable differentiation from viruses such as dengue fever.

The EUROIMMUN antibody detection test kits can be run on fully automated analyzers, allowing researchers to work with large volumes of samples to better understand the virus.

"Since first learning about the Zika outbreak, we’ve worked closely with our colleagues at EUROIMMUN to mobilize resources and address this urgent need," said Mark Zacur, vice president and general manager of Thermo Fisher’s healthcare market channel.

"The EUROIMMUN test kits are an important step forward in the ongoing Zika response by facilitating a better understanding of the virus. We are pleased to have been chosen as their exclusive channel for making these tests available to our clinical research customers across the U.S."

Hamid Erfanian, chief executive officer of EUROIMMUN US, commented, "We are excited to be partnering with Thermo Fisher to quickly put our tests in the hands of more clinical research customers through their extensive U.S. network."

EUROIMMUN AG, headquartered in Luebeck, Germany, is an international manufacturer of laboratory reagents and instrument systems for autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases, allergies and gene analytics.