Researchers of the virology laboratory at the Institut Pasteur in French Guiana, in collaboration with the Military Health Service, have just demonstrated, through a study carried out on about ten male patients, that the Zika virus remains present in the semen for 30 to 45 days after the onset of the first symptoms due to infection with the virus. In a patient, this duration was 188 days.
These findings, published in The New England Journal of Medicine on August 17, 2017, provide new insights into the potential for sexual transmission of the virus. They should allow, in the future, to contribute to the elaboration of better recommendations with the infected persons. Currently, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends condom use for six months after the onset of symptoms.
This study, conducted in French Guiana, is part of the clinical research project ZIFAG (prospective descriptive study of the Zika virus disease within the defense community of the military forces in French Guiana).
The ZIFAG project aims to provide care for patients infected with the Zika virus and to monitor them clinically and biologically for one year. The objective is to improve the knowledge on the vectorial and sexual transmission of the virus and to improve the biological diagnosis, which will be useful in particular for the follow-up of pregnant women.
Mre information :
Institut Pasteur in French Guiana website
Kinetics of Zika Viral Load in Semen, N Engl J Med, 17 août 2017