Background: Infections with parvovirus B19 (B19V) have been associated with a wide range of disease manifestations of which erythema infectiosum (fifth disease) in children is most common. Clinical signs following infection of children with B19V can be similar to measles and rubella. Laboratory detection of B19V infections is based on detection of B19V-specific IgM antibodies by enzyme immunoassay (IgM-EIA) and/or B19V DNA by quantitative PCR (qPCR) on blood samples. The need for invasive sampling can be a barrier for public health diagnostics. Objectives: To evaluate the use of a dual target B19V-qPCR directed against the NS1 and VP2 of B19V on oral fluid samples as a non-invasive alternative for laboratory diagnosis of B19V infections in children below 12 years of age with exanthema. Study design: Oral fluid and serum samples were collected from 116 children with exanthema. All serum samples were tested by IgM-EIA/IgG-EIA, while all oral fluid and 56 serum samples were tested by B19V-qPCR. Results: B19V-specific IgM antibodies were detected in 25 of 116 children in the study. B19V DNA was detected in oral fluid in 17 of the 25 children who were IgM positive, as well as two children who were IgM-equivocal or negative. The child with the equivocal IgM had a high quantity of B19V DNA in oral fluid (7 log IU/ml), compatible with an acute B19V infection. The IgM-negative child was IgG-positive and 4 log IU/ml B19V DNA was detected in the oral fluid sample, suggesting an acute infection and a falsely negative IgM. Sample size calculations indicated that oral fluid samples for qPCR should be collected from 2 to 3 children during outbreaks of exanthema to achieve similar sensitivity as IgM-EIA for one child (≥0.9) to confirm or exclude B19V. Conclusions: Results indicate that oral fluid samples are a suitable public health alternative for detection of B19V infections, potentially lowering the barriers for sampling.

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Journal of Clinical Virology
Department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

Bodewes, R, Kerkhof, J., Cremer, J, Gijselaar, D. B., Voordouw, B., Veldhuijzen, I., … van Binnendijk, R. (2019). Oral fluid: Non-invasive alternative for parvovirus B19 diagnosis?. Journal of Clinical Virology, 117, 5–10. doi:10.1016/j.jcv.2019.05.008