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Open Access Research article

High prevalence of antibodies against polyomavirus WU, polyomavirus KI, and human bocavirus in German blood donors

Florian Neske1, Christiane Prifert1, Barbara Scheiner1, Moritz Ewald1, Jörg Schubert1, Andreas Opitz2 and Benedikt Weissbrich1*

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Virology and Immunobiology, University of Würzburg, Versbacher Str. 7, 97078 Würzburg, Germany

2 Institute of Transfusion Medicine and Hemotherapy, University Clinic Würzburg, Josef-Schneider-Str. 2, 97080 Würzburg, Germany

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2010, 10:215  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-10-215

Published: 20 July 2010

Abstract

Background

DNA of the polyomaviruses WU (WUPyV) and KI (KIPyV) and of human bocavirus (HBoV) has been detected with varying frequency in respiratory tract samples of children. However, only little is known about the humoral immune response against these viruses. Our aim was to establish virus-specific serological assays and to determine the prevalence of immunoglobulin G (IgG) against these three viruses in the general population.

Methods

The capsid proteins VP1 of WUPyV and KIPyV and VP2 of HBoV were cloned into baculovirus vectors and expressed in Sf9 insect cells. IgG antibodies against WUPyV VP1, KIPyV VP1, and HBoV VP2 were determined by immunofluorescence assays in 100 plasma samples of blood donors.

Results

The median age of the blood donors was 31 years (range 20 - 66 yrs), 52% were male. 89% of the samples were positive for WUPyV IgG (median age 31 yrs, 49.4% male), 67% were positive for KIPyV IgG (median age 32 yrs, 46.3% male), and 76% were positive for HBoV IgG (median age 32 yrs, 51.3% male). For WUPyV and HBoV, there were no significant differences of the seropositivity rates with respect to age groups or gender. For KIPyV, the seropositivity rate increased significantly from 59% in the age group 20 - 29 years to 100% in the age group > 50 years.

Conclusions

High prevalences of antibodies against WUPyV, KIPyV, and HBoV were found in plasma samples of healthy adults. The results indicate that primary infection with these viruses occurs during childhood or youth. For KIPyV, the seropositivity appears to increase further during adulthood.