Parvovirus B19 infections and blood counts in blood donors

David Juhl, Dagmar Steppat, Siegfried Görg, Holger Hennig

11 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Parvovirus B19 (B19V) is a transfusion-transmissible virus. To obtain data about the prevalence, incidence, the course of B19V infection in blood donors and whether B19V might impair their blood counts, samples from blood donors with B19V infection were investigated. Methods: Blood donations were screened for B19V DNA using the Cobas TaqScreen DPX Test® in mini-pools. B19V DNA concentration, anti-B19V IgG antibody titer and blood counts were determined in positive donors. Results: 157/23,889 (0.66%) donors provided 347 B19V DNA-positive samples. Prevalence of B19V infection was 0.45%, incidence 0.20%. B19V DNA concentrations were predominantly low; only in 8 samples were viral loads of ≥105 IU B19V DNA/ml plasma detectable. Besides a slight decrease in hemoglobin, hematocrit, mean corpuscular volume, mean cellular hemoglobin and mean hemoglobin concentration, no major differences in blood counts occurred in B19V DNA-positive samples. In samples with a low B19V DNA concentration, anti-B19V IgG titers were rather high. 98 donors provided at least 1 B19V DNA-positive follow-up sample, indicating a prolonged viremia. Conclusions: B19V infection induced no major impairment in the blood counts. In donors with low-level viremia, infectivity through their donations is probably reduced by high antibody titers. Low-level viremia is prolonged, probably exceeding 1 year in many cases.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTransfusion Medicine and Hemotherapy
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)52-59
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.2014


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