Background: Infection with parvovirus B19 may cause fetal losses including spontaneous abortion, intrauterine fetal death and non-immune hydrops fetalis. The aim of this study is to determine the frequency of parvovirus B19 in formalin fixed placental tissues in lost fetuses using real-time PCR method.
Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 100 formalin fixed placental tissues with unknown cause of fetal death were determined using real-time PCR method after DNA extraction.
Results: Six out of 100 cases (6%) were positive for parvovirus B19 using real-time PCR. Gestational age of all positive cases was less than 20 weeks with a mean of 12.3 weeks. Three cases have a history of abortion and all of positive cases were collected in spring. Mean age of positive cases were 28 years.
Conclusion: Parvovirus B19 during pregnancy can infect red precursor cells and induces apoptosis or lyses these cells that resulting in anemia and congestive heart failure leading to fetal death. Management of parvovirus B19 infection in pregnant women is important because immediate diagnosis and transfusion in hydropsic fetuses can decrease the risk of fetal death.
Keywords: Fetal death; Human Parvovirus B19; Placenta.