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Label the specimen specifically with the source.
Do not centrifuge amniotic fluid or spinal fluid.
A negative result does not necessarily indicate the absence of parvovirus B19 infection. False-negative results may be due to the virus being present at levels below the limit of detection for this assay, or to inhibitory substances that may be present in the specimen.
This assay has only been validated for the detection of genotype 1 parvovirus B19 and its ability to detect the less common genotypes 2 and 3 is unknown.
Parvovirus B19 is a DNA virus that preferentially replicates in erythroid progenitor cells. Infection with parvovirus B19 can occur at any age, but is most common early in life. Antibody prevalence ranges from 2% to 15% in children 1 to 5 years old to 30% to 60% in adults. The virus is transmitted by respiratory secretions and occasionally by blood products.
Parvovirus B19 infections can be asymptomatic or produce a wide spectrum of disease ranging from erythema infectiosum ("fifth disease" characterized by a classic "slapped cheek" rash) in children to arthropathy, severe anemia, and systemic manifestations involving the central nervous system, heart, and liver depending on the immune competence of the host. Infection with parvovirus B19 in pregnant women may cause hydrops fetalis, congenital anemia, spontaneous abortion, or stillbirth of the fetus. Parvovirus B19 is also the causative agent of transient aplastic crisis and chronic aplasia usually, but not exclusively, in immunocompromised or transplant patients, and those with preexisting hematologic disorders (eg, sickle cell disease).
Most acute infections with parvovirus B19 are diagnosed in the laboratory by serologically detecting IgG- and IgM-class antibodies with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay testing.
A positive result indicates that parvovirus B19 DNA is present in the clinical sample. However, a positive result does not differentiate between actively replicating virus, transient infection that may be asymptomatic, or the presence of remnant viral nucleic acid.
A negative result suggests the absence of parvovirus B19 infection.