Haematological response to parvovirus B19 infection in homozygous sickle-cell disease.


Infection with human parvovirus B19 is known to cause aplastic crises in patients with homozygous sickle-cell disease. We studied the haematological consequences of parvovirus B19 infection in 280 such patients who had been followed up from birth in Jamaica. Evidence of seroconversion was routinely sought with a baculovirus-based, enzyme immunoassay in serum samples taken during aplastic crises and in all stored annual serum samples. 70% of patients had seroconverted by age 20 years; of 177 infections, haematological change was typical of aplastic crises in 118 (67%), minor in 16 (9%), and not discernible in 43 (24%). This assay increased the detection of unsuspected seroconversion-an observation important in planning a strategy for parvovirus B19 immunisation.

Lancet (London, England)