Background: Since its discovery parvovirus B19-infections could be linked to a growing variety of diseases. Besides the harmless exanthema erythema infectiosum perferentially observed with B19-infections in childhood a panel of rather serious and also chronic courses that may be associated with anemia, thrombocytopenia, arthritis and others have been described.
Objective: In a 26-year-old female patient an acute parvovirus B19-infection was followed by a serious episode of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Here we demonstrate the clinical and serological parameters which were observed in the patient during that episode in addition to the nucleotide sequence of the virus isolate.
Results and conclusion: In this patient parvovirus B19 was not the initial causative agent for SLE. However the B19 infection was followed by a severe flare of SLE and therefore may be considered as an enhancer of the autoimmune disease. The amount of nucleotide variability observed in the viral genome was in the range known from other B19 isolates. An elevated degree of mutations in antigenic domains was not detectable. Therefore, we would like to emphasize the possible role of parvovirus B19 in the aetiology or the enhancement of autoimmune diseases like SLE and the necessity of an according differential diagnosis.