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With international travel, Zika virus (ZIKV) is introduced to Europe regularly. A country's ability to robustly detect ZIKV introduction and local transmission is important to minimise the risk for a ZIKV outbreak. Therefore, sufficient expertise and diagnostic capacity and capability are required in European laboratories. To assess the capacity, quality, operational specifics (guidelines and algorithms), technical and interpretation issues and other possible difficulties that were related to ZIKV diagnostics in European countries, a questionnaire was conducted among national reference laboratories in 30 countries in the European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) in May 2016. While the coverage and capacity of ZIKV diagnostics in the EU/EEA national reference laboratories were found to be adequate, the assessment of the quality and needs indicated several crucial points of improvement that will need support at national and EU/EEA level to improve ZIKV preparedness, response and EU/EEA ZIKV surveillance activities.


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