The distribution of human parvovirus B19 (HPV B19) infection is ubiquitous and occurs worldwide. The virus has high tropism to red blood cells progenitor's cells leading to temporary infection of bone marrow and transient arrest of erythropoiesis. People with frequent episodes of hemolytic anemia including sickle cell disease (SCD) and thalassemia are at increased risk of infection. This study aimed at assessing prevalence and factors associated with HPV B19 infections among hospitalized SCD patients.
This was a cross-sectional hospital-based study among SCD patients hospitalized at Muhimbili National Hospital. HPV B19 was detected using RT-PCR. Hematological and Chemistry tests were done using Sysmex XT2000i and Chemistry analyzer respectively.
A total of 329 SCD patients, median age 15 years (interquartile range 7-22 years) were tested for HPV B19. The prevalence of HPV B19 was 29%. In multivariate logistic regression model, HPV B19 infection was associated with pain (OR=4.28, 95%CI: 1.20-15.19; p=0.025), low neutrophil counts (OR=0.57, 95%CI: 0.35-0.92, p=0.022) and MCH (OR=0.92, 95%CI: 0.85-0.99; p=0.033). Individuals infected with HPV B19 had slightly higher prevalence of severe anaemia (30.4% vs. 20.3%, p=0.054) and HIV infection (6.0% vs. 2.1%, p=0.083) in the univariate analysis. Considering the effect of HPV B19 virus on spleen, aplastic anemia and platelet counts in SCD patients, our study did not find any association with these parameters (p=0.244; p= 0.205 and p=0.567 respectively).
The prevalence of HPV B19 among hospitalized SCD patients at MNH was high. SCD patients with HPV B19 were more likely to present with pain, low neutrophils levels, and MCH. HIV infection might be associated with a high risk of HPV infection in SCD patients; however, this requires further investigation.