What are the signs and symptoms of transfusion-transmitted parvovirus 19 infection?

Updated: Jan 15, 2017
  • Author: Mudassar Zia, MD; Chief Editor: Emmanuel C Besa, MD  more...
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Parvovirus is a nonenveloped virus that is usually transmitted by the respiratory route and that eventually infects hematopoietic cells. The virus is also transmitted vertically from mother to child and via blood products. Transmission by blood products is common because the virus does not have a lipid envelope, rendering inactivation methods (eg, using methylene blue or the solvent-detergent method) ineffective. [56]

The spectrum of clinical results of parvovirus infection depends mainly on the immune status of the recipient. The parvovirus may cause bone marrow failure in immunocompromised patients and patients with sickle cell disease. In the immunocompromised host, the disease is self-limited, without subsequent complications.

As stated, pregnant women can transmit the virus vertically to the fetus, leading to fetal hydrops (heart failure). [57, 58] This is of importance considering the fact that many pregnant women receive RhoGAM (anti-D immunoglobulin; Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics, Inc, Raritan, NJ) to prevent sensitization by fetal antigens. PCR assay–based tests are being developed to counteract this problem. [59]

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