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1.  Serological study on parvovirus B19 infection in multitransfused thalassemia major patients and its transmission through donor units 
Human parvovirus B19 (B19) virus is a newly recognized agent for transfusion transmitted diseases. Beta-thalassemia major patients receive a hypertransfusion regimen, hence, are prone to acquire B19 infection; moreover, B19 escapes viral inactivation methods and donor units are not tested for B19, but there are just a couple of studies globally and none from the Asian continent. Hence, a study was designed to find the frequency of B19 infection and its transmission in multitransfused thalassemia patients.
Materials and Methods:
Ninety multitransfused beta-thalassemia major (thalassemia) patients, 32 controls (age, sex matched) without any history of transfusion were enrolled. Besides the donor units were tested in B19 un-infected patients. B19 specific IgG and IgM antibodies in the sera were analyzed by ELISA (in-house), using B19 VPI and VP2 recombinant and purified antigens; additionally HBsAg and anti-HIV and anti-HCV antibodies were tested for coexisting infections.
Seventy-three (81%) thalassemia patients tested positive for anti-B19 IgG antibodies as compared to seven (21%) in the controls group (P < 0.01), while anti-B19 IgM antibodies were detected in 37 (41.1%) compared to two (6.2%) in the controls (P < 0.01). Mean age of the thalassemia patient was eight years (range 2 – 18 years) and B19 infection was highest in the six-to-ten year range. Seropositivity increased with the number of transfusions. Two of the four HBsAg positive and five of the seven anti-HCV IgM antibody-positive patients also had anti-B19 IgM. After a six-month follow-up, four (25%) of the 16 seronegative patients seroconverted and anti-B19 IgM antibodies were detected in their donor units.
Most of multitransfused thalassemics were B19 seropositive or had anti-B19 IgM; in the remaining uninfected group, B19 got transmitted through infected / IgM-positive donor units.
PMCID: PMC3159243  PMID: 21897592
B19; blood transfusion; parvovirus; seroconversion; thalassemia
2.  Standardization of B19 IgG ELISA to study the seroepidemiology of parvovirus B19 in North Indian voluntary blood donors 
Backgound and Objectives:
Parvovirus B19 (B19) being a non-enveloped DNA virus is hence thermo-stable to the current methods of viral inactivation. Therefore transfusion of blood or its component from a viremic donor to non-immune recipients may result in transfusion-transmitted B19 infection with occasional sinister complications. The serologically naïve blood donor population in our country has not been studied. Hence a study was designed to find the sero-status of B19 virus in normal voluntary blood donor population (relatives of recipients) as an indirect measure of the susceptibility to B19 in north Indians together with seroepidemiology of B19.
An in-house anti-B19 IgG ELISA was standardized using cloned, baculovirus expressed, and purified VP1/VP2 capsid proteins as antigen. Anti-B19 IgG antibodies in sera (diluted 1:400) of 1000 healthy voluntary blood donors (18-60 years; mean 30.5 years) were analyzed and their epidemiologic data were documented.
A total of 399 (39.9%) donors were seropositive for B19 virus. Seroprevalence was higher in males than females (44% vs 27%) and it increased with increasing age (P<0.01). Socioeconomically, B19 IgG antibody positivities were 61.8%, 61.1%, and 44.4% in low, medium, and high income groups respectively with unskilled laborers having higher seroprevalence in low (48.5%) and middle (58.7%) income group (P<0.05). Housing conditions revealed B19 seroprevalence as 42.6% in donors living in small houses compared to 20.4% in larger houses (P<0.01) but no difference with religion.
Seroprevalence to B19 in normal voluntary blood donors was low leaving a large proportion of north Indians susceptible to B19 infection.
PMCID: PMC2937302  PMID: 20859505
Antibodies; blood donors; ELISA; erythrovirus; parvovirus B19; seroprevalence

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