Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Parvovirus B19 infection in five European countries: seroepidemiology, force of infection and maternal risk of infection

  • J. MOSSONG (a1), N. HENS (a2), V. FRIEDERICHS (a3), I. DAVIDKIN (a4), M. BROMAN (a4), B. LITWINSKA (a5), J. SIENNICKA (a5), A. TRZCINSKA (a5), P. VAN DAMME (a6), P. BEUTELS (a6), A. VYSE (a7), Z. SHKEDY (a2), M. AERTS (a2), M. MASSARI (a8) and G. GABUTTI (a9)...

We conducted a seroprevalence survey in Belgium, Finland, England & Wales, Italy and Poland on 13 449 serum samples broadly representative in terms of geography and age. Samples were tested for the presence of immunoglobulin G antibody using an enzyme immunoassay. The age-specific risk of infection was estimated using parametric and non-parametric statistical modelling. The age-specific risk in all five countries was highest in children aged 7–9 years and lower in adults. The average proportion of women of child-bearing age susceptible to parvovirus B19 infection and the risk of a pregnant women acquiring B19 infection during pregnancy was estimated to be 26% and 0·61% in Belgium, 38% and 0·69% in England & Wales, 43·5% and 1·24% in Finland, 39·9% and 0·92% in Italy and 36·8% and 1·58% in Poland, respectively. Our study indicates substantial epidemiological differences in Europe regarding parvovirus B19 infection.

Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence: J. Mossong, Ph.D., Microbiology, Laboratoire National de Santé, PO Box 1102, L-1011 Luxembourg, Luxembourg. (Email:
Hide All
1.  K Broliden , T Tolfvenstam , O Norbeck . Clinical aspects of parvovirus B19 infection. Journal of Internal Medicine 2006; 260: 285304.

2.  T Tolfvenstam , Frequency of human parvovirus B19 infection in intrauterine fetal death. Lancet 2001; 357: 14941497.

3.  A Isa , Prolonged activation of virus-specific CD8+T cells after acute B19 infection. PLoS Medicine 2005; 2: e343.

7.  WR Ballou , Safety and immunogenicity of a recombinant parvovirus B19 vaccine formulated with MF59C.1. Journal of Infectious Diseases 2003; 187: 675678.

13.  HA Kelly , The age-specific prevalence of human parvovirus immunity in Victoria, Australia compared with other parts of the world. Epidemiology and Infection 2000; 124: 449457.

14.  A Manning , Epidemiological profile and clinical associations of human bocavirus and other human parvoviruses. Journal of Infectious Diseases 2006; 194: 12831290.

15.  HJ Whitaker , CP Farrington . Estimation of infectious disease parameters from serological survey data: the impact of regular epidemics. Statistics in Medicine 2004; 23: 24292443.

16.  JP Nascimento , The prevalence of antibody to human parvovirus B19 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo 1990; 32: 4145.

18.  A Alanen , Seroprevalence, incidence of prenatal infections and reliability of maternal history of varicella zoster virus, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex virus and parvovirus B19 infection in South-Western Finland. BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 2005; 112: 5056.

22.  NM Ferguson , Strategies for mitigating an influenza pandemic. Nature 2006; 442: 448452.

23.  J Wallinga , P Teunis , M Kretzschmar . Using data on social contacts to estimate age-specific transmission parameters for respiratory-spread infectious agents. American Journal of Epidemiology 2006; 164: 936944.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Epidemiology & Infection
  • ISSN: 0950-2688
  • EISSN: 1469-4409
  • URL: /core/journals/epidemiology-and-infection
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 1
Total number of PDF views: 17 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 141 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 19th October 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.