Sera from patients in the acute and recovery stages of parvovirus B19 infection, and from individuals with no detectable antiparvovirus antibody were examined for the presence of anti-DNA and antilymphocyte antibodies. Sixty-eight percent of individuals recently recovered from parvovirus infection had elevated levels of antidouble stranded (ds) and antisingle stranded (ss) DNA antibodies. In addition, a cytotoxic IgM antilymphocyte antibody was detected in more than 88% of these same sera. Serial specimens from volunteers experimentally infected with parvovirus B19 were also tested for these autoantibodies and it was determined that the presence of antilymphocyte IgM was dependent on the stage of infection. The antilymphocyte IgM was occasionally detectable in sera containing rubella specific IgM (11%) or varicella zoster specific IgM (25%). However, in contrast to B19 infection, these antibodies were not cytotoxic. From the results of our study, we propose that parvovirus infection of hematologically normal individuals may be accompanied by a transient, subclinical autoimmune state.