COS-7 cells transfected with parvovirus B19-simian virus 40 (SV40) hybrid vectors have previously been shown to express B19 structural proteins. In this study the morphology and antigenicity of B19 proteins expressed in these cells were investigated. At 84 h after transfection, approximately 10% of the COS-7 cells expressed B19 antigen, and the yield was equivalent to 2 × 10 to 2 × 10 B19 particles/transfected cell. The B19 proteins self-assembled into capsids that were morphologically and antigenically similar to native B19 virions, and could substitute for native antigen in a B19 IgM assay. Recombinant capsids lacking the recently described 11 kDa protein also resembled native virions.


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