The test of specific IgM antibodies against Parvovirus B19 is used for the laboratory diagnosis of recent infection with the virus.
Human Parvovirus B19 is the causative virus of erythema infectiosum (also known as fifth disease) in children and can also cause aplastic crises in patients with anemia. The virus can also cause arthropathies, embryopathies, and graft rejection after kidney transplantation.
Parvovirus B19 has a worldwide spread. The incidence of specific antibodies against the virus in Western developed societies is between 40-60% of the population. The mode of transmission of the virus is not completely known. Droplet transmission and the fecal-oral route are the most suspected causes. Blood and blood products are infectious and thus patients with multiple transfusions and drug addicts are groups with a high incidence of Parvovirus B19.
Parvovirus B19 multiplies in the bone marrow of erythrocyte precursor cells, which are then destroyed in the process. In patients who already suffer from anemia (sickle cell anemia, chronic hemolytic anemia), infection with the virus results in aplastic crises, where the lack of red blood supply leads to worsening anemia.
The incubation period lasts 1-12 weeks. Without any characteristic early symptom, a rash suddenly appears on both cheeks occupying their entire surface up to the nasolabial folds, forehead, and mouth, which changes in color and shape almost every day. Symptoms such as arthralgia (especially in women), pseudo-appendicitis, enteritis, and flu-like symptoms may also occur.
Infections with Parvovirus B19 during pregnancy lead to miscarriages (infection in early pregnancy) and severe fetal damage (hydrops fetalis), infection in late pregnancy.
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.