In recent years many of our assumptions about human parvoviruses and blood transfusion have been challenged. It was thought that human parvovirus B19 (B19V), the only parvovirus that we needed to be concerned about, had a single genotype, was highly resistant to heat inactivation, and caused a transient viremia. Concerns about this viremic stage were abrogated by the fact that pooled plasma would contain large amounts of neutralizing antibody, rendering the virus noninfectious. Recent studies, including three articles in this issue of TRANSFUSION and the discovery of two new viruses infecting humans, show that this complacency is unjustified. This editorial reviews the potential ongoing threat of parvoviruses to blood and blood product safety in the light of these new discoveries. Parvoviruses are small, 20‐ to 25‐nm icosahedral nonenveloped viruses, encapsidating a linear single‐stranded DNA genome of approximately 5000 nucleotides. They are found ubiquitously in nature, infecting a wide range of vertebrates and insects. The viruses encode no DNA polymerase and are dependent on either cells undergoing division or infection with a helper virus for viral replication. The absence of a lipid membrane and the relatively small DNA genome renders the viruses relatively stable and resistant to many procedures
Transfusion – Wiley
Published: Oct 1, 2007
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