The clinical relevance of parvovirus B19 DNA persistence in bone marrow was examined in 10 immunocompetent individuals undergoing examinations for unexplained fever, arthralgia or chronic leukopenia. Common causes of these symptoms had been ruled out and bone marrow aspiration was indicated at this stage of investigation. In addition to morphological analysis of the bone marrow, a test for B19 DNA was performed with 2 nested PCRs. Five of these 10 selected patients had detectable B19 DNA in their bone marrow, whereas no viraemia was observed. Additional bone marrow samples were collected at least 6 months after the first sample from the B19 DNA-positive patients, of whom 3 were found to be still positive. Indeed, 2 of the patients have been positive for more than 5 y of follow-up. Sera from all patients with persistent B19 DNA in bone marrow could neutralize the virus. One patient responded to treatment with immunoglobulin but later relapsed. No other cause of the symptoms was found, despite extensive investigations, and at least some of the prolonged disease manifestations may be due to parvovirus B19.