Antibody response to B19 parvovirus VP1 and VP2 linear epitopes in patients with haemophilic arthritis



Parvovirus B19 infection occurs very frequently in patients with haemophilia on account of its transmission with plasma derivatives. In order to achieve a more defined serological pattern for the study of the role of B19 infection in haemophilic arthritis, 53 serum samples from 37 patients with haemophilic arthritis were investigated for the presence of IgG immune response against B19 VP2 and VP1 linear epitopes and VP2 conformational antigen compared to the serological reactivity against B19 NS1 and to the presence of B19 DNA in the synovial membranes. An IgG immune response against VP1 and VP2 linear epitopes was detected by immunoblot assay using recombinant proteins expressed in Escherichia coli. Specific IgG against VP2 and VP1 linear epitopes were present in 84.90 and 92.45% of haemophilic arthritis patients and in 28.0 and 64.0% of the controls (P < 0.001) respectively. All 53 sera of the haemophiliacs (100%) and 66.0% of the controls (P < 0.001) were IgG positive and IgM negative against VP2 structural epitopes. Specific IgG against VP2 linear epitopes, which are a serological marker of active or very recent B19 infection, proved to be significantly associated with the presence of anti-NS1 antibodies and with the presence of B19 DNA in synovial tissue in patients with haemophilic arthritis. In conclusion, in these patients the presence of B19 IgG anti-VP2 linear epitopes, in absence of IgM anti-VP2 structural antigens, can be a useful serological marker to diagnose active, recent or persistent B19 infection. J. Med. Virol. 72:679–682, 2004. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.