The recent outbreak of Zika virus (ZIKV) in the Americas and its devastating developmental and neurological manifestations has prompted the development of field-based diagnostics that are rapid, reliable, handheld, specific, sensitive, and inexpensive. The gold standard molecular method for lab-based diagnosis of ZIKV, from either patient samples or insect vectors, is reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). The method, however, is costly and requires lab-based equipment and expertise, which severely limits its use as a point-of-care (POC) tool in resource-poor settings. Moreover, given the lack of antivirals or approved vaccines for ZIKV infection, a POC diagnostic test is urgently needed for the early detection of new outbreaks and to adequately manage patients. Loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) is a compelling alternative to RT-qPCR for ZIKV and other arboviruses. This low-cost molecular system can be freeze-dried for distribution and exhibits high specificity, sensitivity, and efficiency. A growing body of evidence suggests that LAMP assays can provide greater accessibility to much-needed diagnostics for ZIKV infections, especially in developing countries where the ZIKV is now endemic. This review summarizes the different LAMP methods that have been developed for the virus and summarizes their features, advantages, and limitations.
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