Parvovirus B19

Kevin E. Brown

in Oxford Textbook of Medicine

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print May 2010 | ISBN: 9780199204854
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199570973 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Textbooks

Parvovirus B19

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  • Medical Microbiology and Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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Parvovirus B19 (B19V) is a small DNA virus that replicates in erythroid progenitor cells, with virus-induced cytotoxicity stopping red cell production. It only infects humans, is endemic in most places, and is transmitted predominantly by the respiratory route. In healthy people it causes erythema infectiosum, also known as ‘fifth disease’ or ‘slapped cheek disease’, associated with minimal drop in haemoglobin, but in patients with increased red cell turnover, e.g. haemolytic anaemia or haemoglobinopathy, it causes transient aplastic crisis; in immunocompromised patients it causes chronic anaemia; and following maternal infection it leads to hydrops fetalis or fetal loss. Treatment is supportive in most instances, but reduction in iatrogenic immunosuppression and/or intravenous immunoglobulin may be appropriate in some cases. No vaccine is available....

Chapter.  1506 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Microbiology and Virology ; Infectious Diseases

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