ME and CFS Medical Abnormalities – Parvovirus B19


Following is a list of articles about parvovirus B19 in ME and CFS.

Links to the more than 1,000 peer-reviewed journal articles are listed on the ME and CFS Medical Abnormalities page of this website.


Kerr JR, Gough J, Richards SC, Main J, Enlander D, McCreary M, Komaroff AL, Chia JK. Antibody to parvovirus B19 nonstructural protein is associated with chronic arthralgia in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome/myalgic encephalomyelitis. J Gen Virol. 2010 Apr;91(Pt 4):893-7. PMID: 20007355

Eighty-three CFS patients (41.5 %) as compared with fourteen (7%) normal blood donors tested positive for anti-B19 NS1 IgG. Of these 83 patients, 61 complained of chronic joint pain, while 22 did not. Parvovirus B19 DNA was detected in serum of 11 CFS patients and none of the controls by Taqman real-time PCR. Positivity for anti-B19 NS1 IgG was associated with higher expression levels of the human CFS-associated genes NHLH1 and GABPA.


Seishima M, Mizutani Y, Shibuya Y, Arakawa C. Chronic fatigue syndrome after human parvovirus B19 infection without persistent viremia. Dermatology. 2008;216(4):341-6. PMID: 18277075

Some patients who get sick after a parvovirus B19 infection do not show antibodies.


Kerr JR. Pathogenesis of parvovirus B19 infection: host gene variability, and possible means and effects of virus persistence. J Vet Med B Infect Dis Vet Public Health. 2005 Sep-Oct;52(7-8):335-9. PMID: 16316396

In a study of CFS patients, six genes were found to be differentially expressed with roles in the cytoskeleton (SKIP, MACF1, SPAG7, FLOT1), integrin signalling (FLOT1, RASSF5), HLA class III (c6orf48), and tumour suppression (RASSF5). These results have implications not only for B19 but also for other persistent viruses.


Jacobson SK, Daly JS, Thorne GM, McIntosh K. Chronic parvovirus B19 infection resulting in chronic fatigue syndrome: case history and review. Clin Infect Dis. 1997 Jun;24(6):1048-51. PMID: 9195056

The authors report the case of a young woman with recurrent fever and a syndrome indistinguishable from chronic fatigue syndrome. After extensive investigation, they found persistent parvovirus B19 viremia, which was detectable by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) despite the presence of IgM and IgG antibodies to parvovirus B19. The patient’s fever resolved with the administration of intravenous immunoglobulin.


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