Prevalence of parvovirus B19 viraemia among German blood donations and the relationship to ABO and Rhesus blood group antigens


Asymptomatic blood donors can transmit human parvovirus B19 (B19V). We assessed the B19V prevalence amongst a large cohort of blood donations collected in Germany during 2015-2018. In total, 167,123 donations were screened for B19V DNA with 22 cases of viraemia identified (0.013% positive). Infections peaked at a four-year interval and the highest number of cases occurred in the summer months. All 22 infections were found in rhesus D-antigen positive donations, suggesting a protective factor in donors who lack this antigen. These findings contribute to our understanding of risk factors for B19V infection among central European blood and plasma donors.