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Background: The seroprevalence of human parvovirus-4 (PARV4) varies considerably by region. In sub-Saharan Africa, seroprevalence is high in the general population, but little is known about the transmission routes or the prevalence of coinfection with blood-borne viruses, HBV, HCV and HIV.  Methods: To further explore the characteristics of PARV4 in this setting, with a particular focus on the prevalence and significance of coinfection, we screened a cohort of 695 individuals recruited from Durban and Kimberley (South Africa) and Gaborone (Botswana) for PARV4 IgG and DNA, as well as documenting HIV, HBV and HCV status.  Results: Within these cohorts, 69% of subjects were HIV-positive. We identified no cases of HCV by PCR, but 7.4% were positive for HBsAg. PARV4 IgG was positive in 42%; seroprevalence was higher in adults (69%) compared to children (21%) (p<0.0001) and in HIV-positive (52%) compared to HIV-negative individuals (24%) (p<0.0001), but there was no association with HBsAg status. We developed an on-line tool to allow visualization of coinfection data ( We identified five subjects who were PCR-positive for PARV4 genotype-3. Ex vivo CD8+ T cell responses spanned the entire PARV4 proteome and we propose a novel HLA-B*57:03-restricted epitope within the NS protein.  Conclusions: This characterisation of PARV4 infection provides enhanced insights into the epidemiology of infection and co-infection in African cohorts, and provides the foundations for planning further focused studies to elucidate transmission pathways, immune responses, and the clinical significance of this organism.

Original publication




Journal article


Wellcome Open Res

Publication Date





Africa, HBV, HCV, HIV, PARV4, co-infection, epidemiology, parvovirus