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J Med Virol. 1999 Feb;57(2):179-85.

Undenatured parvovirus B19 antigens are essential for the accurate detection of parvovirus B19 IgG.

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Biotrin International, The Rise, Mount Merrion, Dublin, Ireland.


Recombinant versions of parvovirus B19 capsid proteins VP1 and VP2 are used for immunodiagnostic assays for detection of antiviral antibodies. The immune response to B19 is characterized by a gradual loss of antibodies directed against linear epitopes of VP2. A similar occurrence for antibodies raised against VP1 protein would represent a limitation to serological assays incorporating denatured versions of either viral antigen. Four detection systems for B19 Ig detection have been developed, including an IgG enzyme immunoassay (EIA) based on undenatured VP2, an immunofluorescence assay (IFA) based on undenatured VP1, a Western blot assay incorporating denatured VP1 and VP2, and an alternative blot system using denatured VP1 but undenatured VP2. Specimens (n=108) were tested by all four systems and identical results were obtained by EIA, IFA, and alternative blot systems, whereby 75/108 (69%) were B19 IgG-positive. Twelve B19 IgG-positive specimens, representing 16% (12/75) of the confirmed positives, did not react to either viral antigens when tested by Western blot. It is concluded that these sera do not react with linear epitopes of VP1 and VP2 antigens. Eighty-five different specimens, which had previously been shown to be both B19 IgM- and IgG-positive by EIA and IFA, were positive by B19 IgM and IgG Western blot. In the IgG Western blot assay, 69 reacted with both VP1 and VP2 and 16 with VP1 only. It is concluded that there is a requirement for at least one undenatured antigen for the immunological detection of B19 IgG.

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