Date Published: May 10, 2018
Author(s): Oluwaseyi S. Ashaka, Olajide O. Agbede, Adesuyi A. Omoare, Samuel K. Ernest.
Sera collected from 57 anaemic and 115 non-anaemic age-matched pre-school children in Ilorin, Nigeria, between November 2014 and December 2015 were assayed for human parvovirus B19-specific IgM antibodies by using the enzyme linked immunosorbent assay technique. A total of 17 (29.8%) anaemic children and 18 (15.7%) non-anaemic children were positive for parvovirus B19 infection. Infection with parvovirus B19 is common in this population, and screening for the virus during differential diagnosis is recommended.
Parvovirus B19 is a small, non-enveloped, single-stranded DNA virus.1 The nucleocapsid of the virus has icosahedral symmetry. Parvovirus B19 is transmitted through the respiratory routes and through contact with infected blood and blood products to susceptible individuals, including children with underdeveloped immune systems. Risk factors associated with parvovirus B19 infection include blood transfusion, circumcision, tribal marks and scarification.2
A total of 172 pre-school children younger than age five participated in the study; 92 were boys, 80 were girls and the mean age for all children was 1.66 years. A total of 21 (22.82%) boys and 14 (17.5%) girls were positive for human parvovirus B19 infection. A total of 57 participants were anaemic, of whom 17 (29.8%) were positive for parvovirus B19 infection; 115 participants were non-anaemic, of whom 18 (15.7%) were positive for parvovirus B19 infection (Table 1). A large percentage of anaemic participants (n = 40; 70.2%) were negative for parvovirus B19 infection. Overall, 97 (84.4%) participants had no anaemia and no parvovirus B19 infection. Only two of the 17 anaemic children positive for parvovirus B19 infection had visible rash.
Our study found that both anaemic and non-anaemic pre-school children living in Ilorin, Nigeria tested positive for human parvovirus B19 infection. Of the 57 anaemic children, 17 (29.8%) were parvovirus B19-positive, and of the 115 non-anaemic children, 18 (15.7%) were parvovirus B19-positive.