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Volume 50, Number 5, October 2017

Molecular and serological assessment of parvovirus B-19 infection in Egyptian children with sickle cell disease 

Manal Mohamed Makhlouf, Sahar Gamil Elwakil, Nihal Salah Ibrahim


Corresponding author:

Manal Mohamed Makhouf, Corresponding author. Department of Clinical and Chemical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, El-Kasr El-Aini Hospital, Cairo University, El-Kasr El-Aini St, Cairo, 11562, Egypt. 


Background and purpose: 

Human parvovirus B-19 (PB-19) is a cause of hemolysis, red blood cell aplasia, and severe conditions in patients with sickle cell anemia, but the molecular mechanisms of the infection are still insufficiently understood. This study aimed to detect PB-19 DNA together with its antibodies in the sera of Egyptian children with sickle cell disease and to assess the contribution of this infection, which causes transient cessation of erythropoiesis, in precipitating severe anemia in some cases. 



One hundred children with sickle cell disease seeking medical advice in the pediatric-hematology clinic were recruited. Sera of the patients were compared with those of 60 healthy children regarding the presence of PB-19 immunoglobulin (Ig)G and IgM as well as detection of its DNA by nested-polymerase chain reaction technique. 



There were statistically significant differences in the prevalence of PB-19 IgM, IgG, and DNA among patients when compared with controls (p < 0.001, p = 0.001, and p < 0.001 respectively). Acute PB-19 infection detected by positive IgM and DNA was found in 30% of the patients, while chronic PB-19 infection detected by positive IgG and DNA was detected in 24% of the patients. Anemia was worse in children with acute PB-19 infection than in those with chronic infection, while anemia was mild in children with old infection. 



PB-19 infection is detected at high rates among Egyptian children with sickle cell disease and it may result in severe anemia. So, PB-19 must be suspected and screened for in such group of patients. 


Key words:

ELISA, Nested PCR, Parvovirus B-19, Sickle cell disease