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.
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