Parvovirus B19 has been reported to be detected in the sera of patients with acute or chronic hepatitis. The prevalence and clinical significance of B19 DNA in serum samples from patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection were investigated.
Serum samples from 54 patients with HBV infection, 51 with HCV infection and 53 normal controls were examined for anti-B19 antibodies and B19 DNA by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), the nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR), Southern blotting and direct nucleotide sequencing, respectively.
Anti-B19 IgM and IgG antibodies were detected in 19 (35.2%) and 46 (85.2%) of 54 serum samples from patients with HBV infection, and eight (15.7%) and 36 (70.6%) of 51 serum samples from patients with HCV infection. B19 DNA was detected in serum samples of 20 (37%) of 54 patients with HBV infection and 12 (23.5%) of 51 patients with HCV infection, but not in 53 serum samples from normal controls. The occurrence of liver dysfunction was not affected by B19 infection in patients with HBV and HCV infection (P > 0.05). All of the 20 serum samples with B19 DNA from patients with chronic HBV infection and all of the 12 serum samples with B19 DNA from patients with chronic HCV infection exhibited TW-3 subtype and TW-9 subtype, respectively. The variant subtypes of B19 were found to be distinctive in patients with HBV or HCV infection.
These data revealed that human parvovirus B19 infection was frequently found in patients with chronic HBV or HCV infection. The variant genotypes were present in patients with different chronic hepatitis. The coinfection of B19 with HBV or HCV did not increase the frequency of liver dysfunction in patients with chronic hepatitis. Long-term longitudinal studies are required to determine the natural course of parvovirus B19 infection and whether its coinfection affects the natural history of chronic hepatitis B or hepatitis C.