Systemic Monocyte and T-Cell Activation in a Patient With Human Parvovirus B19 Infection

Annette D. Wagner, Jorg J. Goronzy, Eric L. Matteson, Cornelia M. Weyand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Infection with human parvovirus B19 induces a biphasic disease. The initial phase has been associated with viremia. During the second phase of the disease, a spectrum of clinical syndromes can manifest, including erythema infectiosum, perinatal complications, and symmetric arthropathy that resembles rheumatoid arthritis. Although investigators have suspected that some of the second phase symptoms are related to immune complex formation, the pathogenesis of parvovirus B19-induced clinical manifestations is not understood. Herein we describe a 63-year-old woman with malaise, fever, and symmetric polyarthritis who had IgM antibodies specific for parvovirus B19. Messenger RNA (mRNA) specific for interleukin (IL) 1β, IL 6, and interferon-γ (IFN-γ) was detected by poly merase chain reaction. Transcript concentrations were semiquantitied by serial dilution of cells and determination of the minimal number of cells that provided a positive signal. Concentrations of IL 1β and IL 6 mRNA in peripheral blood mononuclear cells collected during acute disease were increased by the factor of 32 and 8, respectively. IFN-γ was detected at a 16-fold increased concentration. Two months later, after the patient had experienced complete recovery, production of monokines and IFN-γ was almost normalized. These data raise the possibility that acute parvovirus B19 infection is characterized by a widespread and systemic activation of monocytes, T cells, and natural killer cells. The correlation of increased cytokine mRNA levels and clinical symptoms suggests a potential role of proinflammatory monokines and lympbokines in disease manifestations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-265
Number of pages5
JournalMayo Clinic proceedings
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1995


  • IFN-γ
  • IL
  • NK
  • PBMC
  • PCR
  • cDNA
  • complementary DNA
  • interferon-γ
  • interleukin
  • mRNA
  • messenger RNA
  • natural killer
  • peripheral blood mononuclear cells
  • poly merase chain reaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Systemic Monocyte and T-Cell Activation in a Patient With Human Parvovirus B19 Infection'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this