Persistent B19 parvovirus infection in pediatric malignancies

Med Pediatr Oncol. 1998 Aug;31(2):66-72. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1096-911x(199808)31:2<66::aid-mpo4>;2-x.


Background and procedure: The frequency and clinical importance of parvovirus B19 infection were studied in children investigated or treated for various malignancies and cytopenias.

Results: B19 infection was thus demonstrated in six out of 53 unselected children with malignancies by bone marrow examination, using the B19, DNA-specific, polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Examinations using the PCR in serum samples were equally or less sensitive than in bone marrow samples. One of the children had a persistent B19 infection during maintenance therapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia. She developed a prolonged and severe cytopenia, and the clinical signs included facial rash, chills, high undulating fever, and pharyngitis. She also seroconverted and became B19 IgM-antibody positive during the study period.

Conclusions: Parvovirus B19 infection was detected in 10% of the children and was either asymptomatic or was associated with severe and prolonged cytopenia. Bone marrow examinations are recommended for the detection of B19 DNA in immunosuppressed children.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bone Marrow / virology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Viral / isolation & purification
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Parvoviridae Infections / epidemiology*
  • Parvovirus B19, Human / genetics
  • Parvovirus B19, Human / isolation & purification*
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sweden / epidemiology


  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Viral