Background. Loss of antibody reactivity against linear epitopes of parvovirus B19 (B19) capsid proteins VP1 and VP2 occurs after infection; however, it is unclear whether B cell memory is established against linear epitopes.
Methods. B cell enzyme-linked immunospot assay was used to evaluate B19-specific B cell memory in volunteer donors (n = 22).
Results. B cell memory is maintained against conformational epitopes of VP2 and is absent against linear epitopes of VP2. Individuals seronegative for IgG against the unique region of VP1 have detectable B cell memory, with the potential to mount a humoral response on reexposure to B19. Conversely, in mice immunized with VP2, long-lasting IgG against linear epitopes of VP2 and a strong B cell - memory response are observed.
Conclusions. B cell memory is established and maintained against conformational epitopes of VP2 and against linear epitopes of VP1 but not against linear epitopes of VP2. These findings further our understanding of the immune response to B19 and suggest that analysis of B19-specific B cell memory merits consideration for future B19-vaccine studies.