Which disorders are caused by parvovirus B19 (B19V) infection?

Updated: Oct 11, 2019
  • Author: David J Cennimo, MD, FAAP, FACP, AAHIVS; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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Classic fifth disease, aplastic crisis, and PPGSS are caused almost exclusively by parvovirus B19. This virus, distributed worldwide, infects only humans. Transmission occurs via vertical transmission (birth), large droplet respiratory secretions, transfusion of blood products, and percutaneous exposure to blood. [9, 28]

  • Parvovirus B19 has been spread by blood products, such as intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG), nonrecombinant clotting factors, platelets, and, to a lesser extent, packed RBCs. Because the virus lacks an outer lipid envelope and the genome is very stable, it is extremely resistant to heat, cold, and solvents. Since 2002, makers of plasma-derived products have screened for parvovirus B19. [2]

  • An investigation of parvovirus B19–seronegative recipients of blood components from donors who were positive for parvovirus B19 DNA using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) failed to demonstrate any evidence of transmission when the donors viral loads were below 106 IU/mL. [36] The authors concluded that screening of packed RBC (PRBC) transfusions may not be necessary.

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