Serologic detection of recent or past parvovirus B19 infection using IgM antibodies. Parvovirus B19 is the causative agent of fifth disease (ie, erythema infectiosum, slapped cheek syndrome), which usually produces a mild illness characterized by an intensive erythematous maculopapular facial rash. Most outbreaks of parvovirus infection are acquired by direct contact with respiratory secretions and primarily occur in the spring. Close contact between individuals is responsible for infection in schools, day care centers, and hospitals. The virus has also been associated with fetal damage (hydrops fetalis), aplastic crisis, and arthralgia. Infection during pregnancy presents the risk of transmission to the fetus that may cause intrauterine death. The rate of fetal death following maternal infection ranges between 1% and 9%. Most acute infections with parvovirus B19 are diagnosed in the laboratory by serologically detecting IgG and IgM class antibodies to the virus using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay testing. The presence of IgM class antibodies suggests recent infection.
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