Treatment and Prevention of Parvoviruses B19 Infection


F. Treatment and Prevention

The only specific treatment for B19 infection is the administration of HNIG in cases of persistent B19 infection in the immunocompromised. Controlled trials have not been done but these cases are rare and HNIG is worth giving where there is persistent viraemia. Symptomatic therapy for erythema infectiosum is rarely necessary. Cases of aplastic crisis require transfusion of erythocytes until a satisfactory Hb level is obtained. Consideration should be made to giving HNIG to susceptible patients with chronic haemolytic anaemias who requires short-term protection e.g. if they are in the same ward as a patient having a aplastic crisis. In any case they should be isolated from patients with B19 induced aplastic crisis.

If B19 infection occurs during pregnancy, there is no cause for alarm. The pregnancy should be allowed to proceed and carefully monitored. At delivery examination of the cord blood for B19 IgM will reveal whether the virus has crossed the placenta and infected the virus. The child should be carefully followed up for several to look out for any delayed sequelae.