Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of human parvovirus B19 infections during 2006-2009 in Northern Greece

Hippokratia 2011; 15 (2): 157-160

M. Exindari, D. Chatzidimitriou, A. Melidou, G. Gioula, L. Ziogou, E. Diza


Background. Parvovirus B19 infects children and adults, often causing erythema infectiosum, polyarthritis, but also aplastic crisis in patients with chronic haemolytic anaemia, rash, fever and fetal hydrops or fetal death. This study aims at the detection of acute parvovirus B19 infections during 2006-2009 in northern Greece on epidemiological and clinical aspect.
Material and methods. Specimens were obtained from 63 patients, who addressed to hospitals, suspected for acute parvovirus B19 infection (17 in 2006, 29 in 2007, 10 in 2008 and 7 in 2009). Thirty (47.6%) were children (one day – 15 years old) and 33 (52.4%) were adults (16-65 years old). The infection was shown by PCR in whole blood and/or pleural fluid and supported by detection of specific IgM antibodies in the patients??? blood serum, which was performed by ELISA.
Results. Twenty (31.7%) out of the 63 specimens were found to be positive: 3/17 (17.6 %) in 2006, 16/29 (55.2 %) in 2007, none in 2008 and 1/7 (14.3%) in 2009, p=0.0002. Positive children were found 10/30 (33.3%) and positive adults 10/33 (30.3%). Specific IgM antibodies were detected in all 20 positive patients. Children developed hematological disorders, mainly types of anemia (6 cases), hydrothorax/ascites (2 cases), arthritis (1 case), and liver transplant rejection (1 case). Adults were presented with pregnancy complications (2 cases), arthralgia/arthritis (4 cases), febrile syndromes (3 cases) and atypical rash (1 case).
Conclusions. In conclusion, an annual variation in the circulation of parvovirus B19 was noticed, presenting an increase of acute infections in northern Greece during 2007. Regarding serious cases, although children and adults seemed equally affected, differences in clinical manifestations were observed between them, with hematological dysfunctions predominant in childhood.