Bilateral brachial plexus neuritis following parvovirus B19 and cytomegalovirus infection



A man, 23 years of age, had a typical erythema infectiosum, complicated by a severe bilateral brachial plexus neuritis. Motor function recovered slowly and only partially after 6 months. An infection by human parvovirus B19 was demonstrated, with strongly positive and gradually declining IgM antibodies and viral DNA detectable in serum for more than 3 months. There was also clear evidence of a recent infection by cytomegalovirus. The interaction between these two viruses could be responsible for this rare and severe complication of common infections in this patient.