Parvoviruses are small, single-stranded DNA viruses. Animal parvoviruses are responsible for commonly occurring blood disorders in cats and dogs. A type of parvovirus (designated B19) infects humans. Primary infection in young children can cause an illness known as erythema infectiosum, or fifth disease. Congenital infection can damage the baby's blood forming capacity causing severe anemia and edema similar to that seen with Rh incompatibility and known as Hydrops fetalis. B19 can also cause anemia in adults, especially in those with an underlying hematologic disorder or with HIV infection.
CCID has identified several patients with a persistently elevated IgM antibody response to human parvovirus B19. Infection has been confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The Center plans to pursue basic research into the possible interactions between parvo and herpesviruses. We are interested in testing selected patients for dual infections. Physicians wishing to participate in this study should contact the Center by e-mail to request further information or visit our Clinical Laboratory.