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. 2018 Dec 7;18(1):631.
doi: 10.1186/s12879-018-3525-7.

Seroprevalence of Antibodies to Primate Erythroparvovirus 1 (B19V) in Australia

Free PMC article

Seroprevalence of Antibodies to Primate Erythroparvovirus 1 (B19V) in Australia

Helen M Faddy et al. BMC Infect Dis. .
Free PMC article


Backgroud: Primate erythroparvovirus 1 (B19V) is a globally ubiquitous DNA virus. Infection results in a variety of clinical presentations including erythema infectiosum in children and arthralgia in adults. There is limited understanding of the seroprevalence of B19V antibodies in the Australian population and therefore of population-wide immunity. This study aimed to investigate the seroprevalence of B19V antibodies in an Australian blood donor cohort, along with a cohort from a paediatric population.

Methods: Age/sex/geographical location stratified plasma samples (n = 2221) were collected from Australian blood donors. Samples were also sourced from paediatric patients (n = 223) in Queensland. All samples were screened for B19V IgG using an indirect- enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

Results: Overall, 57.90% (95% CI: 55.94%-59.85%) of samples tested positive for B19V IgG, with the national age-standardized seroprevalence of B19V exposure in Australians aged 0 to 79 years estimated to be 54.41%. Increasing age (p < 0.001) and state of residence (p < 0.001) were independently associated with B19V exposure in blood donors, with the highest rates in donors from Tasmania (71.88%, 95% CI: 66.95%-76.80%) and donors aged 65-80 years (78.41%, 95% CI: 74.11%-82.71%). A seroprevalence of 52.04% (95% CI: 47.92%-56.15%) was reported in women of child-bearing age (16 to 44 years). Sex was not associated with exposure in blood donors (p = 0.547) or in children (p = 0.261) screened in this study.

Conclusions: This study highlights a clear association between B19V exposure and increasing age, with over half of the Australian population likely to be immune to this virus. Differences in seroprevalence were also observed in donors residing in different states, with a higher prevalence reported in those from the southern states. The finding is consistent with previous studies, with higher rates observed in countries with a higher latitude. This study provides much needed insight into the prevalence of B19V exposure in the Australian population, which has implications for public health as well as transfusion and transplantation safety in Australia.

Keywords: Australia; Paediatric; Parvovirus B19; Public health; Seroprevalence.

Conflict of interest statement

Ethics approval and consent to participate

For blood donor samples, ethical approval was obtained from the Blood Service Human Research Ethics Committee, and blood donors provided written consent for their sample to be used for research purposes. For paediatric samples, ethical approval was obtained from the Children’s Health Queensland Ethics Committee. A waiver to consent paediatric individuals was provided, and approved by the aforementioned committee, as samples were sourced from patients presenting for non-infectious investigations such that it was not possible to obtain specific consent for inclusion in this study.

Consent for publication

Not applicable.

Competing interests

Francesca D Frentiu is a member of the editorial board (Associate Editor) of this journal. All other authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

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