Chronic neutropenia of childhood: frequent association with parvovirus infection and correlations with bone marrow culture studies

Br J Haematol. 1993 Sep;85(1):57-62. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2141.1993.tb08645.x.


Children with neutropenia of more than 3 months duration often have evidence of immune-mediated destruction of mature neutrophils and variable abnormalities of myeloid precursors in their bone marrow. These patients often have anti-neutrophil antibodies which persist for several months. To further investigate the aetiology of neutropenia in such patients, bone marrow cells were evaluated for the presence of common viruses. Fifteen of 19 patients tested had evidence for parvovirus infection by PCR amplification of bone marrow DNA with parvovirus specific primers. Of these 15, six also had serologic evidence of parvovirus infection. Anti-neutrophil antibodies were identified in nine of 12 patients with parvovirus infection. Bone marrow culture studies done on six patients revealed varying degrees of myeloid and erythroid inhibition by patient plasma. These studies indicate that parvovirus may be a common cause of immune-mediated neutropenia in children.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Autoantibodies / analysis
  • Base Sequence
  • Bone Marrow / microbiology*
  • Bone Marrow / pathology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease
  • DNA, Viral / chemistry
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neutropenia / microbiology*
  • Neutropenia / pathology
  • Neutrophils / immunology
  • Parvoviridae Infections / complications*
  • Parvoviridae Infections / immunology
  • Parvoviridae Infections / pathology
  • Parvovirus / isolation & purification*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Autoantibodies
  • DNA, Viral