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Is Parvovirus B19 A Progressive Infection & Alternative Treatments For It?

Clinical studies show that the rapid spread of infections can contribute to the diversification of viral infections.1,2

Human parvovirus B19 infections are usually mild and asymptomatic that don’t require treatment however when there are symptoms, analgesics and antipyretics are used to relieve complications.3

Although there is no specific antiviral drug to clear the infection alternative treatments like blood transfusion, anti-inflammatory drugs, and intravenous immunoglobulin are recommended.4

Is Parvovirus B19 A Progressive Infection?

The clinical presentation of parvovirus B19 infection varies widely ranging from mild symptoms to life-threatening severe complications. When the spread of the infection is rapid, it typically allows the progressive diversification of viral isolates. The non-synonymous diversification is generally enhanced indicating the vigorous effect of the virus which in turn accounts for the uniformity of the biological behavior.

The pathogenesis of human parvovirus is complicated and varying, and this structure contributes to the progression of neurological manifestation. The main target cells of this virus are erythroid progenitor cells in the bone marrow. It is a progressive condition and can be propagated to a limited extent in human bone marrow cells.

A study was conducted on two patients reported bone marrow abnormalities, progressive ataxia, and tremor who were aged 27 months female and 13 years male. These patients reported acute infection however after suitable treatments, they recovered gradually in two years with no further discussion of ataxia.

Although in some cases, recovery was completely achieved, cases, where complications are severe morbidity, was observed.1,2

Alternative Treatments For Parvovirus B19

Parvovirus B19 A is typically asymptomatic so self-care treatment at home is sufficient to treat this condition. However, in some cases, complications can be severe. For instance, patients with severe anemia will require hospitalization for blood transfusion. Some of the alternative treatment for parvovirus B19 infection include

Blood Transfusion – This is a routine medical procedure during which the donated blood is infused into your body through a narrow tube placed in the vein. This is considered as a life-saving procedure during surgery or injury where there is a severe blood loss. Blood transfusion is most appropriate for parvovirus patients suffering from severe anemia.3

Anti-Inflammatory Drugs– When the temperature rises more than 102 F, Acetaminophen / Tylenol may help ease temperature. They are also helpful in relieving minor aches and pain.

Intravenous Immunoglobulin- Medical theory states that IVIG therapy has produced proven results for parvovirus B19-associated pure RBC aplasia in immunosuppressed individuals and patients with persistent parvovirus infection. This theory is a powerful tool to improve patient status and to treat the infection. More recently intravenous immunoglobulin therapy is used as a potential treatment against cervical and pancreatic carcinomas.4

In September 2007 in the United States, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases initiated a recombinant human parvovirus B19 vaccine. Studies expect that this vaccine can be helpful shortly to prevent immunodeficiency.

Studies in the past showed that human parvovirus is a trigger of nephrotic syndrome. The HPV B19 is associated with significant morbidity in patients with sickle cell diseases. It is more common in children when compared to adults.

The patient affected with this virus shows symptoms after 14 days of infection. A bright red rash also called a slapped cheek rash is a classic symptom of human parvovirus and a recognized feature of the fifth disease.


  1. Barah, Faraj, et al. “Neurological Aspects of Human Parvovirus B19 Infection: a Systematic Review.” Reviews in Medical Virology, BlackWell Publishing Ltd, May 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4238837/.
  2. Gallinella, Giorgio. “Parvovirus B19 Achievements and Challe`nges.” ISRN Virology, Hindawi, 29 Apr. 2013, www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn/2013/898730/.
  3. Kishore, Janak, and Divya Kishor. “Can Parvovirus B19 Infection Be Naturally Oncolytic: Clinical Findings Raise Such a Possibility in Leukaemic Children.” The Indian Journal of Medical Research, Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, June 2014, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4165011/.
  4. “Parvovirus Infection.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 15 Apr. 2020, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/parvovirus-infection/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20376090.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 6, 2021

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