Cytopenia and past human parvovirus B19 infection in patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome

Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2000 Jun;29(6):373-8. doi: 10.1053/sarh.2000.7024.


Objectives: To determine the clinical significance of human parvovirus B19 infection in patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome (SS) and to investigate the immunologic and hematologic features related to B19 infection.

Methods: We included 80 consecutive patients with primary SS (74 women and 6 men), with a mean age of 62 years (range, 24 to 87 years) that were seen in our Unit. All patients fulfilled the European Community criteria for SS. As controls, we included 140 consecutive sera samples analyzed for B19 antibodies in our Microbiology Department and obtained from adult inpatients and outpatients of our Hospital. Serum from all patients and controls was tested for antibodies to B19 by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Additionally, the presence of B19 DNA in serum and in circulating leukocytes was investigated by nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

Results: Serological evidence of past B19 infection (positive IgG antibodies without IgM antibodies) was present in 28 (35%) patients with primary SS. None of these patients showed evidence for B19 viremia, and B19 virus DNA was not detected in the circulating leukocytes of IgG-B19(+) patients. Positivity for IgM antibodies to B19 was not detected in any patient. When compared with patients without evidence of past B19 infection, those with primary SS and past B19 infection showed a higher prevalence of cytopenia (57% v 15%; P < .001), and, specifically, of leukopenia (36% v 4%; P < .001). Additionally, when compared with controls positive for IgG-B19, SS patients with these antibodies had a higher prevalence of cytopenia (57% v 13%; P < .001), leukopenia (36% v 3%; P < .001) and thrombocytopenia (21% v 0%; P = .003).

Conclusions: Serological evidence of past B19 infection is associated with the presence of cytopenia in our patients with primary SS. A possible relationship between B19 infection and the presence of cytopenia in primary SS may occur in some patients immunologically or genetically predisposed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anemia / epidemiology
  • Anemia / virology
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood
  • Female
  • Hematologic Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Hematologic Diseases / virology*
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin M / blood
  • Leukopenia / epidemiology
  • Leukopenia / virology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parvoviridae Infections / epidemiology*
  • Parvoviridae Infections / immunology
  • Parvovirus B19, Human*
  • Seroepidemiologic Studies
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / epidemiology*
  • Sjogren's Syndrome / virology*
  • Thrombocytopenia / epidemiology
  • Thrombocytopenia / virology


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M