Investigation of human parvovirus B19 occurrence and genetic variability in different leukaemia entities

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Human parvovirus B19V (B19V) has been associated with various haematological disorders, but data on its prevalence in leukaemia are scarce. In this cross-sectional study, we investigated patients in Sao Paulo, Brazil with leukaemia to determine the molecular frequency of B19 variants and characterize the viral genetic variability by partial and complete sequencing of the coding of non-structural protein 1 (NS1)/viral capsid proteins 1 and 2 (VP1/VP2). The presence of B19V infections was investigated by PCR amplification of the viral NS1 gene fragment and confirmed by sequencing analysis. The NS1/VP1/VP2 and partially larger gene fragments of the NS1-positive samples were determined by overlapping nested PCR and direct sequencing results. The B19V NS1 was detected in 40 (16%) of 249 bone marrow samples including 12/78 (15.4%) acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, 25/155 (16.1%) acute myeloid leukaemia and 3/16 (18.7%) chronic myeloid leukaemia samples. Of the 40 participants, 25 (62.5%) were infected with genotype 1a and 15 (37.5%) with genotype 3b. The phylogenetic analysis of other regions revealed that 12/40 (30%) of the patients with leukaemia were co-infected with genotypes 1a and 3b. In addition, a new B19V intergenotypic recombinant (1a/3b) and an NS1 non-recombinant genotype 1a were detected in one patient. Our findings demonstrated a relatively high prevalence of B19V monoinfections and dual infections and provide, for the first time, evidence of inter-genotypic recombination in adults with leukaemia that may contribute to the genetic diversity of B19V and may also be a source of new emerging viral strains with future implications for diagnosis, therapy and efficient vaccine development.

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