A Case Report of Parvovirus B19 Infection in a Renal Allograft

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Parvovirus B19 infection is undiagnosed in recipients undergoing solid organ transplantation. It is usually responsible for unexplained acute and chronic red blood cell aplasia that does not respond to erythropoietin therapy. Cases of parvovirus B19 infection associated with pancytopenia, solid organ dysfunction, and allograft rejection have been described in the literature. The deterioration of the immune system as a result of severe immunotherapy favors the reactivation of a previous infection or the acquisition of a new one. We present a case of a 32-year-old woman with a 1-year history of renal allograft transplant and previous cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection who presented with chest pain, polyarthritis, pancytopenia, and renal dysfunction. A serum sample using polymerase chain reaction showed a parvovirus titer of 13.8 trillion IU/mL and a CMV titer of 800 IU/mL. The renal biopsy revealed nucleomegaly with focal viral inclusions, along with changes associated with immunotherapy toxicity. Electron microscopy demonstrated capillary and tubular epithelial cells with “viral factories,” thereby confirming the diagnosis. Thus, screening for parvovirus B19 is advised in high-risk patients who present with refractory anemia to avoid the complications of a chronic infection associated with the fatal rejection of the transplanted organ.

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