Human parvovirus B19: prevalence of viral DNA in volunteer blood donors and clinical outcomes of transfusion recipients

Vox Sang. 1998;75(2):97-102.


Background and objectives: Blood donor units are not screened for human parvovirus B19 (B19) even though it can be acquired via blood products. We estimated the prevalence of B19 in a US volunteer blood donor population and determined the clinical outcomes of transfusion recipients.

Materials and methods: Donor units were screened for B19 DNA by PCR, and positive units analyzed by EIA for B19 Ig. Unit usage was determined and recipient chart review conducted.

Results: B19 DNA was detected in 11/9, 568 allogeneic units (0.1%), of which 3 had no measurable B19 Ig. One individual developed anemia consistent with B19 infection after receiving a DNA+ unit lacking B19 Ig.

Conclusions: The apparent low incidence of disease in patients transfused with B19 DNA+ components may be due to coexistence of neutralizing antibodies in donors and/or recipients.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anemia / etiology
  • Antibodies / blood
  • Blood Donors / statistics & numerical data*
  • DNA, Viral / blood
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parvoviridae Infections / complications
  • Parvoviridae Infections / epidemiology
  • Parvoviridae Infections / etiology
  • Parvovirus B19, Human / chemistry
  • Parvovirus B19, Human / genetics*
  • Parvovirus B19, Human / isolation & purification*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Prevalence
  • Transfusion Reaction
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / immunology


  • Antibodies
  • DNA, Viral
  • Viral Envelope Proteins