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J Med Virol. 1991 Oct;35(2):110-5.

Human parvovirus B19 specific IgG, IgA, and IgM antibodies and DNA in serum specimens from persons with erythema infectiosum.

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Respiratory and Enterovirus Branch, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, Georgia 30333.


To determine the diagnostic use of different markers of acute parvovirus B19 infection, serum specimens obtained from 128 persons with erythema infectiosum were tested for specific immunoglobulin G (IgG), IgA, and IgM antibodies by capture enzyme immunoassay (EIA) using Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell-expressed B19 antigen, and tested for circulating B19 DNA by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). A significant rise in specific IgG and IgA antibodies was detected in 87% and 77%, respectively, of persons from whom acute- and convalescent-phase serum specimens were available. Specific IgA antibodies were detected in single serum specimens from 90% of cases and were present in 22 (18%) of 120 persons from a control group without a history of recent exposure to B19. Specific IgM antibodies were detected in 97% of cases and one person (1%) from the control group. B19 DNA was detected in 94% of cases and was absent in 20 persons from the control group positive for both IgG and IgA antibodies. Serum specimens obtained between 4 and 6 months after onset of illness from six additional persons were also tested. All had specific IgG antibodies, four (67%) had IgA, five (83%) had IgM, and none had detectable B19 DNA. Our data indicate that 1) specific IgA antibodies are too persistent to be a useful indicator of recent B19 infection; 2) specific IgM antibodies are the most sensitive indicator of acute B19 infection in immunologically normal persons but can persist up to 6 months; and 3) B19 DNA can often be detected up to 2 months after onset of illness even in immunologically normal hosts and might be a useful adjunct test for diagnosis of acute B19 infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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