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Volume 52, Number 4, August 2019

Human parvovirus B19 infection in patients with or without underlying diseases 

Jun Yi Sim, Luan-Yin Chang, Jong-Min Chen, Ping-Ing Lee, Li-Min Huang, Chun-Yi Lu


Background and purpose: 

The clinical presentations of parvovirus B19 in patients with underlying diseases have greater diversity than previously healthy patients. We retrospectively identified patients with polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-confirmed parvovirus B19 infection in attempt to describe its clinical features especially in these populations. 



From 2009 to 2018, patients with real-time PCR-confirmed parvovirus B19 infection were collected. Comparisons were done between previously healthy patients and patients with preexisting diseases, as well as patients with high (>5.5 × 105 copies/mL sera) and low viral loads. 



Parvovirus B19 DNA was detected in 31 patients. Fourteen (45%) patients had underlying diseases, including six (19%) with immunologic diseases, five (16%) with hematologic diseases, and three (10%) with cardiopulmonary diseases. Only seven (23%) patients received an initial impression of erythema infectiosum prior to positive PCR. A higher proportion of patients with underlying diseases presented with fatigue and pallor, and suffered from tachycardia and hepatosplenomegaly compared to previously healthy patients. Among patients with a high viral load, a substantial proportion were of older age, suffered fatigue, and anemia. There was a trend of patients with immunologic comorbidity having a higher viral load. 



The classical parvovirus B19 manifestations were less frequently observed in patients with a preexisting disease compared with previously healthy patients. Depending on host factors, the symptoms of parvovirus B19 infection can be multifaceted. 


Key words:

Human parvovirus B19Erythema infectiosumAplastic crisisPure red-cell aplasia