Parvovirus B19

Samantha Vogt, M.D., M.P.H., Richard D. Moore, M.D.


  • Common community-acquired respiratory pathogen. Can also be transmitted vertically from mother to child, and through blood products, bone marrow and solid-organ transplants.
  • Roughly 80% of all adults have antibodies to the virus; 65% of HIV-infected adults have antibodies. An inability to maintain the humoral response has been postulated to account for the lower level of antibody detection in PLWH.
  • Viral agent of fifth disease, a childhood exanthem.
  • Viral exposure typically leads to neutralizing antibody production and viral clearance. In immunocompetent hosts antibody production leads to resistance to further infection.
  • Virus has tropism for erythroid precursors in the bone marrow. Infection can progress to pure red blood cell aplasia (PRCA) particularly in immunocompromised patients.

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Last updated: August 7, 2022