Parvovirus B19 – quick facts:
Source and transmission:
The virus is found in respiratory droplets during an infection and is easily transmitted to others through close physical contact. Parvovirus can also be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus and transmitted through exposure to blood and blood products.
Symptoms of Parvovirus B19:
The majority of people may not know that they have had a parvovirus B19 infection. They do not experience any significant symptoms and once the initial infection resolves, they become immune and will not get the infection again.
Symptoms for many may include flu-like symptoms, such as:
Some severe cases, however, have been tied to chronic arthritis and even to the development of rheumatoid arthritis.
Prevalence in the US:
In the United States, as many as 50% of adults and 85% of the elderly have been infected with parvovirus B19, usually as children or young adults. The infection typically has an incubation period of several days to 2-3 weeks, is active for a short period, and then begins to resolve.
Parvovirus B19 can cause major health problems in three types of patients:
When is a Parvovirus B19 test necessary?
Parvovirus B19 testing is not typically used to screen the general population and is not deemed necessary in most cases of infection because symptoms are mild and time-limited. It is usually ordered to determine whether someone is currently, or has recently been, infected with parvovirus only if they are at risk of complications. It may also sometimes be ordered to determine whether someone has ever been exposed to parvovirus.
|Parvovirus B19 IgM||Parvovirus B19 IgG||Interpretation|
|Negative||Negative||Implies no past infection or exposure to parvovirus B19. Patient may be susceptible to parvovirus B19 infection|
|Negative||Positive||Implies past exposure/infection and minimal risk of repeat parvovirus B19 infection|
|Equivocal||Positive or negative||May indicate current or recent parvovirus B19 infection. Recommendation to test a new, convalescent specimen collected in 1 to 2 weeks|
|Positive||Positive||Suggests current or recent parvovirus B19 infection|
|Positive||Negative or equivocal||Suggests current or recent parvovirus B19 infection. Recommendation to test a new, convalescent specimen collected in 1 to 2 weeks.|
No significant level of detectable Parvovirus B19 IgG antibody
0.90 - 1.10: Equivocal - Repeat testing in 10-14 days may be helpful
1.11 or greater: Positive - IgG antibody to Parvovirus B19 detected, which may indicate a current or past infection.
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