Seroprevalence of parvovirus B19 among pregnant women in Tripoli, Libya.

Original article


Elnifro E 1,2, Nisha AK 1, Almabsoot M 3, Daeki A 4, Mujber N 5,6, Muscat J 7.

1-Department of Medical Microbiology, Medical School, University of Al-Marghib, Al-Kums, Libya 2-Saint James Medical Laboratory, Saint James Hospital, Tripoli, Libya 3-Department of Microbiology, Postgraduate Academy of Sciences, Tripoli, Libya 4-Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Alfatah University for Medical Sciences, Tripoli, Libya 5-Alkhums Teaching Hospital, Alkhums, Libya. 6-Department of Gastroenterology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Al-Marghib, Al-kums,

J Infect Dev Ctries. 2009 Apr 30;3(3):218-20.


Background: Human parvovirus B19 has been implicated as a primary etiologic agent of erythema infectiosum (fifth disease) and aplastic crisis in patients with chronic haemolytic anemias. Human parvovirus B19 is known to be associated with adverse effects on fetuses such as hydrops fetalis, intrauterine fetal death, and chronic anaemia in immunocompromized individuals. The objective of this study was to assess the seroprevalence of human parvovirus B19 among the pregnant women in Tripoli, Libya. Methodology: A total number of 150 participants were included in the study, consisting of women of child-bearing age ranging from 18 to 41 years, and divided into age groups as follows: < or = 21 years, 22-27, 28-32, 33-37, and > or = 38 years. Specific IgM and IgG antibodies were measured using a commercial ELISA kit. Results: IgG was observed to be prevalent (61%) among the women of child-bearing age. The sero-prevalence of IgM was found to be 5% overall and there was no detectable IgM in the age group between 33 and 37. Conclusion: The presence of IgG and absence of IgM indicate immunity to primary infection, but a significant percentage of child-bearing aged women are at risk of primary infection with parvovirus B19 which could adversely affect their pregnancy.

Keywords: Seroprevalence, human parvovirus B19, pregnancy, Libya