Detection of Zika Virus Using Toehold Switches

Detection of Zika Virus Using Toehold Switches

Detection of Zika Virus Using Toehold Switches

Zika virus is a single-stranded positive-stranded RNA virus of the Flaviviridae family, the genus Flavivirus. The virus, first discovered in 1947, is spread by mosquitoes. Initially, the virus did not attract much attention until its outbreaks in South, Central, and North America. The incubation period for Zika virus disease is unknown, but maybe several days. Symptoms in people with Zika virus are usually mild and last less than a week, however, the virus can cause "microcephaly" in babies. In the 2015 Zika virus outbreak in Brazil, 4,000 Zika virus-infected pregnant women gave birth to microcephaly, a 20-fold increase compared to previous years. In such a situation, the detection of the Zika virus becomes particularly important. 

Conventional Testing Methods

Diagnosis of the Zika virus is based on symptoms and epidemiological history. Because Zika virus cross-reacts with other flaviviruses such as dengue fever and West Nile virus, serological methods are not suitable for Zika virus detection. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and virus isolation and culture can accurately detect the Zika virus. However, the RT-PCR method has high requirements on laboratory equipment and environment, and the virus isolation and culture method take too long. At present, there is an urgent need to develop a rapid and simple detection method for the Zika virus.

Toehold Switches in Zika Virus Detection

Because of the excellence of toehold switches in detecting target RNA, some scholars have introduced specific toehold switch RNA for Zika virus as operating elements into the development of biosensors. At CD BioSciences, with our advanced toehold switches technology platform and long-term accumulation of experience, we can provide you with a one-stop service for Zika virus detection using toehold switches and development services for sensors targeting Zika virus.

The Development Services We Can Provide Based on Toehold Switches

CD BioSciences has extensive experience and advanced technology in providing development services based on toehold switches. We can provide you with services including but not limited to the following two toehold switches-based biosensor development services for Zika virus to meet your needs for rapid detection of Zika virus infection in resource-poor settings.

Our Testing Services Based on the Toehold Switches Platform

The use of toehold switches in Zika virus testing has been reported with good results. Therefore, CD BioSciences is using its toehold switches platform to provide Zika virus testing services to researchers developing viral assays and to teams conducting Zika virus-related research.

Advantages of Toehold Switches in Zika Virus Detection

  • Fast and low-cost detection of the Zika virus.
  • Ability to specifically detect Zika virus in low-resource settings.
  • Enables real-time monitoring of Zika virus prevalence.
  • The use of Toehold switches enables rapid response to genetic variation and mutation.

CD BioSciences focuses on technologies related to toehold switches. We continuously improve our capabilities and update our technology platform. If you need to develop Zika virus detection equipment based on toehold switches, we will provide you with technical support at any time. If you are interested in this, please contact us directly.


  1. Pardee, K.; et al. Rapid, Low-Cost Detection of Zika Virus Using Programmable Biomolecular Components. Cell. 2016, 165(5): 1255-1266.
For Research Use Only.

Online Inquiry