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Arch Dis Child. 2003 Mar;88(3):219-21.

Long term follow up of serostatus after maternofetal parvovirus B19 infection.

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Department of Neonatology, University of Bonn, Germany.



Maternofetal parvovirus B19 infection may result in fetal hydrops or abortion. Chronic infection has been associated with long term complications (polyarthritis, persistent aplastic anaemia, hepatitis). In pregnancy maternal immunosuppression caused by a TH2 dominant response to viral antigens has been observed. There is little information on long term reactivity to intrauterine infection.


To assess the serological status in children and their mothers after maternofetal parvovirus B19 infection and development of fetal hydrops.


A total of 18 children and their mothers, and 54 age matched control infants were studied. Main outcome measures were parvovirus B19 DNA, specific IgM and IgG against the virus proteins VP1/VP2, and NS-1 in venous blood.


Parvovirus B19 DNA and antiparvovirus B19 (IgM) were undetectable in all sera. A significant larger proportion of maternal sera compared to study children's sera contained IgG against the non-structural protein NS-1. Mean levels of VP1/VP2 IgG antibodies were significantly lower in the children than in their mothers (48 (36) v 197 (95) IU/ml). There was no history of chronic arthritis in mothers and children. Five women had subsequent acute but transient arthritis postpartum, which was not correlated with antibodies against NS-1.


Serological evidence of persistent infection after maternofetal parvovirus B19 disease could not be detected. Increased maternal prevalence of anti NS-1 (IgG) and increased levels of antiparvovirus B19 (IgG) may reflect prolonged viraemia compared to fetal disease.

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