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J Clin Microbiol. 1989 Dec;27(12):2647-51.

Polymerase chain reaction assay of parvovirus B19 DNA in clinical specimens.

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  • 1Virus Reference Laboratory, Central Public Health Laboratory, London, United Kingdom.


The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to detect parvovirus B19 DNA in a panel of sera from individuals recently infected with B19, as demonstrated by the presence of anti-B19 immunoglobulin M. Of 95 serum samples, 60 (63%) were found positive by PCR, whereas only 1 was also found positive by dot hybridization. In a control panel of 100 serum samples from individuals with other infections, only 1 serum sample was found positive by PCR, and this was also found positive by dot hybridization. This was probably just a fortuitous discovery of viremia. Placental tissues from women (n = 89) who had proven B19 infections in pregnancy but who gave birth to healthy infants at term were also tested. A total of 74 (83%) were found positive for B19 DNA by PCR. The high rate of detection by PCR probably represents "decay" of viral DNA after the peak of viremia and is not a clinically significant phenomenon.

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