OBJECTIVE. To determine the seroprevalence of prior and persistent
parvovirus B19 (B19) infection in a group of patients with
fibromyalgia (FS) compared with controls.
METHODS. Fifteen female patients with FS who recalled a viral prodrome (+VP) preceding the onset of FS symptoms and eleven patients with FS who did not recall any such illness (-VP) were selected from a
referral practice. We excluded patients with FS who described
a history of trauma prior to the onset of FS symptoms.
Twenty-six female medical workers served as controls. Serum
IgM and IgG anti-B19 antibodies were measured by ELISA.
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) products from serum were
analyzed by dot blot hybridization for B19 DNA. Fisher’s
2-tailed exact test was used to compare the proportion of
positive serologies in each group.
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RESULTS. No patient or control had positive IgM levels. For all patients with FS, the prevalence of prior B19 infection was comparable to that of healthy controls (11/26 vs 12/26, p = 1.00) and that of the general population. No significant difference was found in the prevalence of prior B19 infection in FS + VP and FS-VP
patients (8/15 vs 3/11, p = 0.25). None of the patients or
controls showed evidence for persistent B19 viremia, as
determined by PCR analysis.
CONCLUSION. Our data do not suggest that B19 plays a
pathogenic role in this population of patients with FS.
Testing for IgM against B19 within 2-3 months of symptom onset
may prove more helpful in further defining the role of B19 in
Berg AM, Naides SJ, Simms RW