Droplet Digital PCR and Immunohistochemistry Techniques to Detect Zika Virus in the Central Nervous System of Mice

Methods Mol Biol. 2020;2142:41-57. doi: 10.1007/978-1-0716-0581-3_4.


Detection of Zika virus (ZIKV) in the central nervous system (CNS) is a critical step when studying the pathogenesis of the infection in animal models. Both viral load determination and immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining are useful methods to quantitatively and qualitatively characterize viral infections in target tissues. Here, we describe viral RNA load determination by droplet digital PCR as well as protein detection by polymer-based IHC as effective techniques to quantify and localize ZIKV in the CNS of mice.

Keywords: Central nervous system; Droplet digital PCR; Horseradish peroxidase-labeled polymer; Immunohistochemistry; Mice; Zika virus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain / virology
  • Central Nervous System / metabolism
  • Central Nervous System / pathology
  • Central Nervous System / virology*
  • Central Nervous System Viral Diseases / diagnosis
  • Central Nervous System Viral Diseases / metabolism
  • Central Nervous System Viral Diseases / pathology
  • Central Nervous System Viral Diseases / virology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • RNA, Viral / analysis
  • RNA, Viral / metabolism
  • Viral Load / methods
  • Zika Virus / genetics
  • Zika Virus / isolation & purification*
  • Zika Virus / metabolism
  • Zika Virus Infection / diagnosis*
  • Zika Virus Infection / metabolism
  • Zika Virus Infection / pathology
  • Zika Virus Infection / virology


  • RNA, Viral

Grant support