Diagnosing Human Parvovirus B19 Infection: Guidelines for Test Selection
- Jeanne A. Jordan
- Molecular Diagnosis
A homologous region in the parvovirus B19 non-structural gene (B19 nt 1399-1682) was examined in 50 samples from patients with a wide variety of B19-related disease from various countries by PCR amplification, single-stranded conformational polymorphism (SSCP) assay and nucleotide sequencing. Five SSCP types were confirmed by nucleotide sequence analysis. Of a total of 6 mutations, all were silent. Types 3 and 4 accounted for 92% of strains. There was no correlation between genome type and either clinical illness or patient age. However, there was a correlation between SSCP type and country of origin. Type 3 strains predominated in Japan (18/26) and the UK (6/8), whereas type 4 predominated in the USA (9/12). Notably, type 3 strains also predominated among females (14/18), whereas there were approximately equal numbers of strain types 3 (7/17) and 4 (8/17) among males; an observation which remains unexplained. Within the Japanese group, although type 3 strains predominated overall, strains isolated from 1981 to 1987 consisted of types 1 (2/15), 2 (1/15), 3 (8/15), and 4 (4/15), whereas strains isolated from 1990 to 1994 consisted almost entirely of type 3 (10/11).