Chronic parvovirus B19 infection resulting in chronic fatigue syndrome: case history and review

Clin Infect Dis. 1997 Jun;24(6):1048-51. doi: 10.1086/513627.


The spectrum of disease caused by parvovirus B19 has been expanding in recent years because of improved and more sensitive methods of detection. There is evidence to suggest that chronic infection occurs in patients who are not detectably immunosuppressed. We report the case of a young woman with recurrent fever and a syndrome indistinguishable from chronic fatigue syndrome. After extensive investigation, we found persistent parvovirus B19 viremia, which was detectable by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) despite the presence of IgM and IgG antibodies to parvovirus B19. Testing of samples from this patient suggested that in some low viremic states parvovirus B19 DNA is detectable by nested PCR in plasma but not in serum. The patient's fever resolved with the administration of intravenous immunoglobulin.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • DNA, Viral / blood
  • Erythema Infectiosum / complications*
  • Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • DNA, Viral