The immune profile of a parvovirus B19-infected patient (male, 8 years old) was studied on day 0 (initial presentation) and on days 14 and 210 post symptom presentation (psp). Before infection, the patient was skin test positive to various allergens, including ragweed and tree and grass pollens, and had a serum IgE level of 150 IU/mL. On day 0, the patient was diagnosed as parvovirus B19 infected, as judged by the presence of IgG anti-parvovirus Abs in serum (EIA) and presentation of "slap cheek" rash. The patient's serum IgE level increased from 150 IU/mL before infection to 256 IU/mL on day 0, was 233 IU/mL on day 14, and returned to preinfection levels on day 210. In contrast, there was little change in the levels of serum IgM, IgG, or IgA (nephelometry). IgE anti-parvovirus B19 protein (VP-N) was detected in serum (Western blot) on days 0, 14, and 210, despite the decrease in total IgE on day 210. Although there was no increase in total numbers of blood CD23+ B cells on day 0, by day 14 the numbers of these cells increased dramatically (93%), remaining high on day 210. In contrast, there were virtually no changes in total numbers of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells or CD16/56+ NK precursor cells on days 0-210. On day 0, when IgG and IgE anti-parvovirus were detected in serum, patient's peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) expressed mRNA for the Th2 cytokines IL-4 and IL-10, but not for the Th1 cytokines IFN-gamma or IL-2. However, by day 14 psp, PBMC expressed mRNA for the Th1 cytokines IFN-gamma and IL-2, as well as for IL-4 and IL-10. This is the first demonstration of the existence of IgE anti-parvovirus B19 Ab. The presence of IgE anti-parvovirus B19 Ab in serum on day 0 and its persistence in serum 7 months psp suggests that IgE anti-parvovirus may be useful in prognosis of parvovirus B19 infection. Our results reinforce the idea that IgE, in general, may play a major role in anti-viral immunity, perhaps in conjunction with CD23+ cells. The results further suggest that clearance of this infection is accompanied by a switch to Th1 cytokines.