Parvovirus transmission by blood products - a cause for concern?
The introduction of dual viral inactivation of clotting factor concentrates has practically eliminated infections by viruses associated with significant pathogenicity over the last 20 years. Despite this, theoretical concerns about transmission of infection have remained, as it is known that currently available viral inactivation methods are unable to eliminate parvovirus B19 or prions from these products. Recently, concern has been raised following the identification of the new parvoviruses, human parvovirus 4 (PARV4) and new genotypes of parvovirus B19, in blood products. Parvoviruses do not cause chronic pathogenicity similar to human immunodeficiency virus or hepatitis C virus, but nevertheless may cause clinical manifestations, especially in immunosuppressed patients. Manufacturers should institute measures, such as minipool polymerase chain reaction testing, to ensure that their products contain no known viruses. So far, human bocavirus, another new genus of parvovirus, has not been detected in fractionated blood products, and unless their presence can be demonstrated, routine testing during manufacture is not essential. Continued surveillance of the patients and of the safety of blood products remains an important ongoing issue. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.