The UK NSC recommendation on Parvovirus B19 Infection in Pregnancy

Recommendation Systematic population screening programme not recommended, clinical practice guidelines covered by NICE
Last review completed July 2014
Next review due in 2017/18
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Sytematic population screening not recommended.


Advice on the testing and management of pregnant women exposed to the virus is provided by the Health Protection Agency, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence.


Find general information about population health screening.

Why is screening not recommended by UK NSC?

The first UK NSC review of screening pregnant women for susceptibility to parvovirus B19 infection identified the need for further research into the prevalence and testing methods for the condition. Although screening would identify a large number of susceptible women, there are currently no agreed treatment or prevention methods to protect the baby from being infected. 

More about Parvovirus

Parvovirus B19 is a common infection, usually presenting as erythema infectiosum (rash) in school age children. Parvovirus is an airborne virus usually transmitted through respiratory droplets.

The infection usually manifests as a flu-like illness and is often characterised by a rash of the cheeks which can spread. The infection usually lasts a few weeks. However, in both adults and children about 20-30% of cases do not present any symptoms.

>>Read more about Parvovirus B19 on NHS Choices


British Maternal & Fetal Medicine Society
Faculty of Public Health
Health Protection Agency
Public Health Wales
Royal College of General Practitioners
Royal College of Midwives
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
Royal College of Physicians
Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow
Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

The stakeholder groups will be involved when the recommendation is next reviewed. If you think your organisation should be added, please contact us. More information for stakeholders can be found in appendix C of the UK NSC evidence review process.

Related documents

icon Parvovirus B19 Infection Review Summary (PDF document, 155KB, 28/07/14)

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