Parvovirus B19 (B19V) has been detected in the liver of Asian patients infected with HBV and may contribute to acute and chronic liver disease. This study aimed to investigate the impact of B19V infection in European patients with viral hepatitis. B19V DNA was detected in 1/91 and 0/50 serum samples from patients with chronic hepatitis C and B, respectively. In contrast, B19V DNA was amplified frequently from explanted end-stage liver tissues (37/50, 74%) and from routine biopsy samples (14/32, 44%) (P < 0.05). However, there was no significant difference in B19V copy number per cell between these two groups. B19V-specific CD4(+) T-cell responses to two dominant MHC-class-restricted epitopes were detected in a similar frequency in healthy anti-B19V-positive individuals (3/19; 16%) and patients with chronic hepatitis C (3/13; 23%). These results indicate that B19V can persist in the liver. However, there is no evidence that B19V is a "hepatitis virus" worsening liver disease in European patients with chronic hepatitis C.