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Blood. 2009 Oct 22;114(17):3677-83. doi: 10.1182/blood-2009-06-225706. Epub 2009 Aug 17.

A linked donor-recipient study to evaluate parvovirus B19 transmission by blood component transfusion.

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  • 1Westat Inc, Rockville, MD, USA.


Parvovirus B19V infection can be a serious infection for hematology patients with underlying hemolysis or compromised erythropoiesis syndromes. Although case reports of B19V transmission by blood component transfusion (as contrasted to manufactured plasma derivatives) are rare, no studies have systematically determined a rate of transmission to recipients transfused with B19V DNA-positive components. We used a linked donor and recipient repository and a sensitive, quantitative B19V DNA polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay to assess such transmission in B19V-susceptible (ie, anti-B19V immunoglobulin G [IgG] negative) recipients. We assessed 112 B19V DNA-positive components from 105 donors (of 12 529 tested donations) transfused into a population of surgical patients with a pretransfusion B19V IgG seroprevalence of 78%. We found no transmission to 24 susceptible recipients from transfusion of components with B19V DNA at concentrations less than 10(6) IU/mL (upper 95% confidence interval, 11.7%). We found an anamnestic IgG response in one pretransfusion seropositive recipient transfused with a component containing greater than 10(10) IU/mL B19V DNA. These findings show either that transmission from components with less than 10(6) IU/mL does not occur, or, if it does, it is an uncommon event. These data do not support the need to routinely screen blood donations with a sensitive B19V DNA nucleic acid assay.

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