Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Body fluids


Zika virus is present in urine, saliva, tears, and breast milk, but the transmission risk associated with these body fluids is currently unknown. Here we evaluate the risk of Zika virus transmission through mucosal contact in rhesus macaques. Application of high-dose Zika virus directly to the tonsils of three rhesus macaques results in detectable plasma viremia in all animals by 2 days post-exposure; virus replication kinetics are similar to those observed in animals infected subcutaneously. Three additional macaques inoculated subcutaneously with Zika virus served as saliva donors to assess the transmission risk from contact with oral secretions from an infected individual. Seven naive animals repeatedly exposed to donor saliva via the conjunctivae, tonsils, or nostrils did not become infected. Our results suggest that there is a risk of Zika virus transmission via the mucosal route, but that the risk posed by oral secretions from individuals with a typical course of Zika virus infection is low.Zika virus (ZIKV) is present in body fluids, including saliva, but transmission risk through mucosal contact is not well known. Here, the authors show that oropharyngeal mucosal infection of macaques with a high ZIKV dose results in viremia, but that transmission risk from saliva of infected animals is low.

Concepts: Microbiology, Infection, Milk, Macaque, Primate, Breast, Rhesus Macaque, Body fluids


Background To estimate the frequency and duration of detectable Zika virus (ZIKV) RNA in human body fluids, we prospectively assessed a cohort of newly infected participants in Puerto Rico. Methods We evaluated samples obtained from 150 participants (including 55 men) in whom ZIKV RNA was detected on reverse-transcriptase-polymerase-chain-reaction (RT-PCR) assay in urine or blood in an enhanced arboviral clinical surveillance site. We collected serum, urine, saliva, semen, and vaginal secretions weekly for the first month and then at 2, 4, and 6 months. All specimens were tested by means of RT-PCR, and serum was tested with the use of anti-ZIKV IgM enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Among the participants with ZIKV RNA in any specimen at week 4, biweekly collection continued until all specimens tested negative. We used parametric Weibull regression models to estimate the time until the loss of ZIKV RNA detection in each body fluid and reported the findings in medians and 95th percentiles. Results The medians and 95th percentiles for the time until the loss of ZIKV RNA detection were 14 days (95% confidence interval [CI], 11 to 17) and 54 days (95% CI, 43 to 64), respectively, in serum; 8 days (95% CI, 6 to 10) and 39 days (95% CI, 31 to 47) in urine; and 34 days (95% CI, 28 to 41) and 81 days (95% CI, 64 to 98) in semen. Few participants had detectable ZIKV RNA in saliva or vaginal secretions. Conclusions The prolonged time until ZIKV RNA clearance in serum in this study may have implications for the diagnosis and prevention of ZIKV infection. Current sexual-prevention guidelines recommend that men use condoms or abstain from sex for 6 months after ZIKV exposure; in 95% of the men in this study, ZIKV RNA was cleared from semen after about 3 months. (Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.).

Concepts: Sexual intercourse, ELISA, ELISPOT, Assay, Eva Engvall, Immunoassay, Multiplex, Body fluids


Detection and quantification of drugs from various biological matrices are of immense importance in forensic toxicological analysis. Despite the various reported methods, development of a new method for the detection and quantification of drugs is still an active area of research. However, every method and biological matrix has its own limitation, which further encourage forensic toxicologists to develop new methods and to explore new matrices for the analysis of drugs. In this study, an electrospray ionization-liquid chromatograph-tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-LC-MS/MS) method is developed and validated for simultaneous identification and quantification of 24 drugs of forensic relevance in various body fluids, namely, whole blood, plasma and vitreous humour. The newly developed method has been validated for intra-day and inter-day accuracy, precision, selectivity and sensitivity. Absolute recovery shows a mean of 84.5, 86.2, and 103% in the vitreous humour, whole blood and plasma respectively, which is suitable for the screening procedure. Further, the absolute matrix effect (AME) shows a mean of 105, 96.5, and 109% in the vitreous humour, whole blood and plasma, respectively. In addition, to examine the practical utility of this method, it has been applied for screening of drugs in post-mortem samples of the vitreous humour, whole blood and plasma collected at autopsy from ten cadavers. Experimental results show that the newly developed method is well applicable for screening of analytes in all the three matrices. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Concepts: Blood, New York City, Blood donation, Embalming, Vitreous humour, Forensic toxicology, Human Development Index, Body fluids


Extracellular RNAs (exRNAs) in human body fluids are emerging as effective biomarkers for detection of diseases. Saliva, as the most accessible and noninvasive body fluid, has been shown to harbor exRNA biomarkers for several human diseases. However, the entire spectrum of exRNA from saliva has not been fully characterized.

Concepts: Gene, Disease, Death, RNA, MicroRNA, Messenger RNA, Piwi-interacting RNA, Body fluids


A large array of studies have investigated peripheral oxytocin (OT) and vasopressin (ADH) as potential biomarkers of psychiatric disorders, with highly conflicting and heterogenous findings. We searched Web of KnowledgeSM and Scopus® for English original articles investigating OT and/or ADH levels in different biological fluids (plasma/serum, saliva, urine and cerebrospinal fluid) across several psychiatric disorders. Sixty-four studies were included. We conducted 19 preliminary meta-analyses addressing OT alterations in plasma/serum, saliva, urine and cerebrospinal fluid of 7 psychiatric disorders and ADH alterations in plasma/serum, saliva, urine and cerebrospinal fluid of 6 psychiatric disorders compared to controls. Hedge’s g was used as effect size measure, together with heterogeneity analyses, test of publication biases and quality control. None of them (except serum OT in anorexia nervosa) revealed significant differences. There is no convincing evidence that peripheral ADH or OT might be reliable biomarkers in psychiatric disorders. However, the lack of significant results was associated with high methodological heterogeneity, low quality of the studies, small sample size, and scarce reliability of the methods used in previous studies, which need to be validated and standardized.

Concepts: Sample size, Systematic review, Statistical significance, Vasopressin, Mental disorder, Effect size, Meta-analysis, Body fluids


During the 2014-2016 West Africa Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) epidemic, the public health community had concerns that sexual transmission of the Ebola virus (EBOV) from EVD survivors was a risk, due to EBOV persistence in body fluids of EVD survivors, particularly semen. The Sierra Leone Ebola Virus Persistence Study was initiated to investigate this risk by assessing EBOV persistence in numerous body fluids of EVD survivors and providing risk reduction counseling based on test results for semen, vaginal fluid, menstrual blood, urine, rectal fluid, sweat, tears, saliva, and breast milk. This publication describes implementation of the counseling protocol and the key lessons learned.

Concepts: HIV, Sexual intercourse, West Africa, Vagina, Viral hemorrhagic fever, Liberia, Body fluids, Sierra Leone



Wearable sensors allow continuous monitoring of metabolites for diabetes, sports medicine, exercise science, and physiology research. These sensors can continuously detect target analytes in skin interstitial fluid (ISF), tears, saliva, and sweat. In this review, we will summarize developments on wearable devices and their potential applications in research, clinical practice, and recreational and sporting activities. Sampling skin ISF can require insertion of a needle into the skin, whereas sweat, tears, and saliva can be sampled by devices worn outside the body. The most widely sampled metabolite from a wearable device is glucose in skin ISF for monitoring diabetes patients. Continuous ISF glucose monitoring allows estimation of the glucose concentration in blood without the pain, inconvenience, and blood waste of fingerstick capillary blood glucose testing. This tool is currently used by diabetes patients to provide information for dosing insulin and determining a diet and exercise plan. Similar technologies for measuring concentrations of other analytes in skin ISF could be used to monitor athletes, emergency responders, warfighters, and others in states of extreme physiologic stress. Sweat is a potentially useful substrate for sampling analytes for metabolic monitoring during exercise. Lactate, sodium, potassium, and hydrogen ions can be measured in sweat. Tools for converting the concentrations of these analytes sampled from sweat, tears, and saliva into blood concentrations are being developed. As an understanding of the relationships between the concentrations of analytes in blood and easily sampled body fluids increases, then the benefits of new wearable devices for metabolic monitoring will also increase.

Concepts: Metabolism, Enzyme, Diabetes mellitus, Physiology, Blood sugar, Lactic acid, Ibn al-Nafis, Body fluids


We assessed the potential for children’s exposure to bioavailable silver during the realistic use of selected nanotechnology-based consumer products (plush toy, fabric products, breast milk storage bags, sippy cups, cleaning products, humidifiers, and humidifier accessory). We measured the release of ionic and particulate silver from products into water, orange juice, milk formula, synthetic saliva, sweat, and urine (1:50 product to liquid mass ratio); into air; and onto dermal wipes. Of the liquid media, sweat and urine yielded the highest amount of silver release, up to 38% of the silver mass in products; tap water yielded the lowest amount, ≤1.5%. Leaching from a blanket into sweat plateaued within 5 min, with less silver released after washing. Between 0.3 and 23 µg m(-2) of silver transferred from products to wipes. Aerosol concentrations were not significantly elevated during product use. Fabrics, a plush toy, and cleaning products were most likely to release silver. Silver leached mainly via dissolution and was facilitated in media with high salt concentrations. Levels of silver to which children may potentially be exposed during the normal use of these consumer products is predicted to be low, and bioavailable silver is expected to be in ionic rather than particulate form.

Concepts: Water, Water pollution, Milk, Breastfeeding, Breast, Particulate, Breast milk, Body fluids


Wearable biosensors have received tremendous attention over the past decade owing to their great potential in predictive analytics and treatment toward personalized medicine. Flexible electronics could serve as an ideal platform for personalized wearable devices because of their unique properties such as light weight, low cost, high flexibility and great conformability. Unlike most reported flexible sensors that mainly track physical activities and vital signs, the new generation of wearable and flexible chemical sensors enables real-time, continuous and fast detection of accessible biomarkers from the human body, and allows for the collection of large-scale information about the individual’s dynamic health status at the molecular level. In this article, we review and highlight recent advances in wearable and flexible sensors toward continuous and non-invasive molecular analysis in sweat, tears, saliva, interstitial fluid, blood, wound exudate as well as exhaled breath. The flexible platforms, sensing mechanisms, and device and system configurations employed for continuous monitoring are summarized. We also discuss the key challenges and opportunities of the wearable and flexible chemical sensors that lie ahead.

Concepts: Physiology, Human body, Lymph, Sensors, Electronic engineering, Flexible, Body fluids