Pf Ago-Based Zika Virus Detection

Viruses. 2024 Mar 30;16(4):539. doi: 10.3390/v16040539.


As a mosquito-borne flavivirus, Zika virus (ZIKV) has been identified as a global health threat. The virus has been linked to severe congenital disabilities, including microcephaly and other congenital malformations, resulting in fatal intrauterine death. Therefore, developing sensitive and specific methods for the early detection and accurate diagnosis of the ZIKV is essential for controlling its spread and mitigating its impact on public health. Herein, we set up a novel nucleic acid detection system based on Pyrococcus furiosus Argonaute (PfAgo)-mediated nucleic acid detection, targeting the non-structural protein 5 (NS5) region of the ZIKV genome (abbreviated ZIKV-PAND). Without preamplification with the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), the minimum detection concentration (MDC) of ZIKV-PAND was about 10 nM. When introducing an amplification step, the MDC can be dramatically decreased to the aM level (8.3 aM), which is comparable to qRT-PCR assay (1.6 aM). In addition, the diagnostic findings from the analysis of simulated clinical samples or Zika virus samples using ZIKV-PAND show a complete agreement of 100% with qRT-PCR assays. This correlation can aid in the implementation of molecular testing for clinical diagnoses and the investigation of ZIKV infection on an epidemiological scale.

Keywords: Pyrococcus furiosus Argonaute protein; Zika virus; gDNA; nucleic acid detection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Argonaute Proteins / genetics
  • Genome, Viral
  • Humans
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques / methods
  • Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques / methods
  • Pyrococcus furiosus* / genetics
  • RNA, Viral / genetics
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Viral Nonstructural Proteins* / genetics
  • Zika Virus Infection* / diagnosis
  • Zika Virus Infection* / virology
  • Zika Virus* / genetics
  • Zika Virus* / isolation & purification


  • Viral Nonstructural Proteins
  • Argonaute Proteins
  • RNA, Viral
  • NS5 protein, flavivirus