The parvovirus B 19 is part of the family of the parvoviridae and shows a distinctive tropism for erythropoid precursor cells. The virus causes in children the erythema infectiosum (German measles). Meanwhile, parvovirus B 19 infections can be associated with a wide spectrum of hematological and non-hematological complications (e.g. liver failure, hepatitis, aplastic crises primarily in association with chronic hemolytic anaemias, chronic arthritis, arthralgia/arthritis, transient/persistent anaemias, vasculitis, glomerulonephritis). Intrauterine infections can lead to specific or permanent organ defects (e.g. heart anomalies, eye diseases, micrognathy, chronic anaemia, myocarditis, hepatitis, mekonium peritonitis and central nervous system anomalies). Parvovirus B 19 infections are also associated with hydrops fetalis and intrauterine death during pregnancy. A definite relation between fetal malformations and B 19 infection has not been accomplished yet. Pregnancies complicated by parvovirus B 19 infection should be followed for further exclusion of any teratogenic effect. Although congenital malformations after a parvovirus infection are possible, this phenomenon seems to be rare. An intrauterine therapy with packed red cells could be performed for hydrops fetalis and low haemoglobin concentration. Investigation for the development and clinical testing of an efficient vaccine against parvovirus B 19 is currently in progress.