Summary. We previously reported detection of human parvovirus B19 DNA in livers from patients requiring transplantation for acute fulminant liver failure. In this study, we used immune adherence PCR (IA-PCR) to bind B19 virions in recipient native liver onto solid phase with specific monoclonal antibodies followed by PCR amplification of virion DNA. IA-PCR had sensitivity and specificity similar to conventional PCR. We examined liver tissue from 16 patients with non-A, non-B, non-C, non-E (NA-E) acute fulminant liver failure (AFLF) (6 of unknown etiology associated with aplastic anemia (AA), 4 of unknown etiology without AA; and 6 patients with AFLF of known etiology). IA-PCR detected B19 virions in 5 of 6 (83%) of livers from patients with idiopathic NA-E AFLF associated with AA and in 2 of 3 (75%) without AA, compared to 1 of 6 (17%) of livers from patients with AFLF of known etiology and to 6 of 34 (18%) of 34 control patients with chronic or neoplastic liver disease. Viral mRNA encoding the structural protein was detected in the liver tissue from three B19 IA-PCR positive patients with AFLF. Detection of B19 virions and mRNA for capsid proteins provided strong evidence for B19 infection during the course of NA-E AFLF and argues for involvement of B19 virus in liver injury.
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