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Arch Pathol Lab Med. 2007 May;131(5):799-804.

Parvovirus B19 infection in the immunocompromised host.

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Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.


Human parvovirus B19 is a single-stranded DNA virus with a predilection for infecting rapidly dividing cell lines, such as bone marrow erythroid progenitor cells. People with defective cell-mediated immunity (eg, severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome; acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; and patients receiving immunosuppressive therapy, ie, post organ transplant) can develop pure red cell aplasia, in which suppression of erythroid precursors is permanent. Identification of parvovirus inclusions in marrow biopsies and subsequent confirmation of infection by in situ hybridization is important in the assessment of anemia in immunodeficient patients. Our objective is to provide a general overview of the parvovirus B19 infection and its characteristics in immunocompromised patients and to summarize updated information regarding the clinicopathologic features, pathobiology, and laboratory diagnosis of this subject. The pathologist should be aware of the wide spectrum of manifestations of parvovirus B19 infection depending on the patient's hematologic and immunologic status.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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