Human parvovirus B19 (B19) infects cells of erythroid lineage. Production of neutralizing antibodies (Abs) is indispensable for recovery from B19-related disease state. In this study, we used a convenient method to measure neutralizing activities in human sera by using a real-time quantitative PCR based assay. Erythroid cell line KU812Ep6 was incubated with test sera before infection with B19 virus. The copy number of B19-DNA in cultures was decreased in the presence of the sera from patients who recovered from acute B19 infection, whereas no decrease in B19-DNA was in cultures incubated with sera from healthy volunteers who had no B19 infection. The decrease in B19-DNA copy number was calculated and the inhibition percentage was expressed as neutralizing activity to B19. A clinical study showed that the levels of neutralizing ability were high in patients who recovered soon after acute B19 infection, but were low in some patients with a prolonged clinical course for recovery from B19 infection. This method is simple and convenient compared with methods described previously, showing its usefulness to evaluate the neutralizing activity to B19.
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