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Abstract: The presence of parvovirus B19 VP and NS1 genes in the synovium is not correlated with rheumatoid arthritis

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J Rheumatol. 2003 Sep;30(9):1907-10.

Peterlana D, Puccetti A, Beri R, Ricci M, Simeoni S, Borgato L, Scilanga L, Ceru S, Corrocher R, Lunardi C.

Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Section of Internal Medicine, University of Verona, 37134 Verona, Italy.

OBJECTIVE: To amplify both NS1 and VP genes of Parvovirus B19 DNA in synovial membrane (SM) and serum obtained from patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and to analyze whether the presence of viral DNA is correlated with synovitis.

METHODS: DNA obtained from 30 SM and 24 serum samples from RA patients was analyzed using single round-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and nested PCR for both VP and NS1 genes of parvovirus B19. Twenty-four SM and serum samples from sex and age matched subjects with osteoarthritis (OA) or joint trauma served as controls.

RESULTS: The first round PCR was negative for NS1 in RA samples. After nested PCR, NS1 was detected in the SM of 6/30 patients and of 10/24 controls and in the serum of 4/24 patients and controls. Nested PCR for the VP gene detected viral DNA in the SM of 7/30 patients with RA and of 7/24 of the controls and in the serum of 5/24 patients and of 2/24 controls. Altogether parvovirus DNA was found in the SM of 11/30 (36.6%) patients and of 12/24 (50%) controls and in the serum of 8/24 (33.3%) patients with RA and of 5/24 (20.8%) controls.

CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that the amplification by nested PCR of both NS1 and VP genes is necessary to define the presence of viral DNA in tissue samples and confirm that the presence of parvovirus B19 DNA is similar in RA and control SM, suggesting that simple detection of viral DNA is not sufficient to confirm a link between the virus and RA.

PMID: 12966589 [PubMed – in process]

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