A quantitative, internally controlled real-time PCR Assay for the detection of parvovirus B19 DNA

J Virol Methods. 2001 Apr;92(2):183-91. doi: 10.1016/s0166-0934(00)00292-5.


Parvovirus B19 is an erythrovirus causing diverse clinical manifestations ranging from asymptomatic or mild, to more severe outcomes in, for example, immune-compromised patients. B19 is spread primarily via the respiratory route, but it can also be transmitted via blood and blood products. Viral loads in blood or plasma donations amount up to 10(11) genome equivalents/ml. Therefore, screening of plasma for fractionation for the presence of B19 and removal of highly loaded donations is a way to limit considerably the input of B19 into production pools and to improve further the safety of plasma products. An assay for the quantitative detection of B19 DNA, based on real-time PCR using ABI Prism SDS7700 (TaqMan) is described here. This assay allows precise quantitation of viral loads over 7 orders of magnitude. An exogenous internal control (internal quality marker) is included in each individual sample to prevent false negative results. A linearized plasmid is used as an internal quality marker that contains the identical sequence of the B19 target sequence but with an altered probe hybridization site. This allows co-amplification of B19 and internal quality marker and co-detection of FAM (6-carboxyfluorescein) or VIC labeled probes respectively. The assay is validated according to current guidelines (of the International Conference on Harmonization, Paul Ehrlich Institute, and the Council of Europe) and is optimized for high throughput screening.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • DNA, Viral / blood*
  • Humans
  • Parvoviridae Infections / virology*
  • Parvovirus B19, Human / genetics
  • Parvovirus B19, Human / isolation & purification*
  • Plasmids
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • DNA, Viral