Diagnostic Test Directory

Virology Laboratory

Parvovirus B-19 IgM and IgG serology - serum specimen

  • Synonyms: Parvovirus Antibodies, Parvovirus G and M Antibodies, Parvovirus Serology
  • LIS Mnemonic: SPARV


    Gold (SST - Clot activator & gel)

    Volume Required

    2 ml blood

    Minimum Required

    1 ml serum


    Room temperature


    If multiple viral serologies are being requested from the same specimen, the general rule is to collect a total of 2-4 ml of blood for every 2-3 tests ordered. A single serum specimen is required to determine the immune status of an individual or to test for viral-specific IgM antibodies. Paired sera specimens, collected two to three weeks apart, are required for the diagnosis of a current or recent viral infection when examining specimens for IgG antibody. Obtain the acute phase serum as soon as possible after the onset of illness. The most useful results are obtained by submitting acute and convalescent phase sera together to be tested simultaneously. Evaluation of serum for antibodies to TORCH (Toxoplasma, Rubella, CMV, HSV, etc) agents can be used to detect congenital and perinatal infections in newborns. Two serum specimens should be submitted for testing; one from the mother and the other from her infant. Serological testing is not usually available for body fluids other than serum. However, in patients with viral neurologic disease, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) may be tested for viral antibody if paired with a serum specimen from the same date.

Days Performed



Same day

Reflex Testing



86747 x 2


Enzyme Immunoassay

Disease Information


Erythema infectiosum (Fifth disease) is the most common manifestation of parvovirus B19 infection. The disease is characterized by a distinctive slapped-cheek" rash that gives the child a flushed look. The rash may also involve the limbs and trunk but can fluctuate in intensity for weeks to months with changes in temperature and exposure to sunlight. Arthralgia and arthritis is common among adults infected with parvovirus B19, particularly women. Polyarthropathy of knees, fingers, and other joints is common. In transient aplastic crisis, the patient has severe anemia characterized by lethargy, pallor, and weakness. Condition occurs as a complication in individuals with chronic hemolytic anemias. Normally lasts 7 to 10 days with complete recovery; however, can be life threatening and blood transfusions may be required to prevent death. Chronic infection resulting in severe anemia has been observed in AIDS patients. Infection during pregnancy can cause fetal hydrops, intrauterine growth retardation, congestive heart failure, and death.


Results are reported as negative, equivocal, or positive for parvovirus B19 IgM and/or IgG antibody.

Reference Values

Negative or no parvovirus B19 IgM or IgG antibody detected

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