Braz J Microbiol. 2022 Sep 23. doi: 10.1007/s42770-022-00828-9. Online ahead of print.
The use of oral fluid (OF) samples for serological diagnosis of parvovirus B19 infection during outbreaks of erythema infectiosum had already been demonstrated, but the feasibility of using OF for the characterization of B19 genotypes circulating during outbreaks has not been described. The aim of this study was to assess the use of “in-house” PCR-based assays as a powerful tool for a rapid diagnosis and molecular characterization of B19 strains in OF samples during outbreaks. Paired serum and OF samples collected from anti-B19 IgM-positive patients, during two outbreaks of ertythema infectiosum (1999-2000 and 2004-2005), were tested by conventional (cPCR) and quantitative PCR (qPCR). qPCR was more sensitive than cPCR for detecting B19-DNA in both OF and serum. Overall, OF presented lower viral load (9.97 × 106 UI/mL) than serum (2.42 × 1010 UI/mL) and this difference was statistically significant. All OF samples obtained from patients in the age group < 14 years presented low viral load (< 104 IU/mL). No correlation was found between viral load and the number of days of onset of rash. Sequence analysis from PCR positive OF samples confirmed the circulation of subgenotype 1a (G1a) during these outbreaks. Our findings indicate that PCR-based assays may fail to detect B19-DNA in approximately 50% of OF compared to serum samples. Nevertheless, our study has shown for the first time that the genome sequence of the amplicon from non-invasive clinical sample is useful for molecular genotyping and may be a tool to clarify the genetic diversity of B19 strains circulating in distinct outbreaks.