BACKGROUND: Although the main transmission pathway of parvovirus B19 (B19) is typically via the respiratory route, several transfusion‐transmitted infections have been reported. To increase blood safety, all blood donations to our blood donor service have been screened by a B19 minipool real‐time nucleic acid testing (NAT) since April 2000. Additional customers have been screened since the summer of 2003. STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: In total, 2.8 million donations from Germany and Austria were screened for B19 by real‐time minipool NAT. A subgroup of 50 B19 DNA–positive donors was screened for B19 immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgM antibodies and B19 DNA over a 6‐month period. Results were compared to those of 100 B19 DNA–negative donors. RESULTS: Data accumulated over the past 6 years indicate a high incidence period from May 2004 to January 2006. In total, the incidence was 12.7 and 261.5 per 100,000 donations with high virus loads equal to or above 105 and below 105 IU per mL, respectively. Median virus concentration in the case group was 4.85 × 107 IU per mL at Time Point T0 and was reduced to 4 × 102 IU per mL at the time of the next donation (3 months later). Neutralizing antibodies (VP2) were detected in all donations if virus load was reduced to less than 105 IU per mL. CONCLUSION: The release of B19 DNA–positive blood products with a concentration of less than 105 IU per mL is thought to be safe due to the high level of neutralizing VP2 antibodies and is currently examined in a donor recipient infectivity study. In contrast, blood products with a high B19 DNA concentration (≥105 IU/mL), some of which did not contain neutralizing antibodies, were discarded to protect at risk individuals.
Transfusion – Wiley
Published: Oct 1, 2007
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