Primate Erythroparvovirus 1 (Parvovirus B19): An Etiologic Agent of Ataxia and Cerebellar Disease?

In a 1999 report, a 2-year-old boy developed acute truncal ataxia and horizontal nystagmus that prevented him from walking or maintaining a sitting position. These symptoms were followed four days later by erythema infectiosum. B19 infection was confirmed by genomic DNA and anti-B19 antibodies (IgM and IgG) in serum. The ataxia and nystagmus dissipated within one week, and there were no neurological sequelae in this case. A vascular reaction to the B19 infection in the cerebellum was hypothesized to contribute to the ataxia.

primate-erythroparvovirus-1
Primate Erythroparvovirus 1

Two more cases of ataxia were reported by Barah, et al.. Ages were 27 months (female) and 13 years (male). B19 DNA was positive in the CSF. Both children died and were found to have cerebellar pathology at autopsy.

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