Human Parechovirus Infections Associated with Seizures and Rash in Infants and Toddlers

Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2015 Oct;34(10):1049-55. doi: 10.1097/INF.0000000000000802.


Background: Systematic investigations assessing the clinical impact of human parechovirus (HPeV) disease are sparse. Noninvasive stool samples may be useful for targeted hospital-based surveillance.

Methods: In the context of a quality management program, all hospitalized children fulfilling predefined case criteria for central nervous system (CNS) infection/inflammation underwent standardized neurologic examinations. Stool samples were collected for HPeV and enterovirus (EV) polymerase chain reaction and molecular typing at the National Reference Center.

Results: From October 2010 to December 2012, stool samples of 284 patients with suspected CNS infection/inflammation were tested yielding 12 (4.2%) HPeV+ samples and 43 (15.1%) EV+ samples. HPeV-positive samples included HPeV-1, HPeV-3 and HPeV-6. No additional pathogens were identified in routine care. HPeV-positive patients were significantly younger (P < 0.001) and more likely to present with seizures (P = 0.001) and rash (P < 0.0001) when compared with HPeV-negative patients.

Conclusions: In hospitalized children younger than 4 years presenting with suspected CNS infection/inflammation, seizures and/or rash, HPeV should be considered in the differential diagnosis. Large-scale public health surveillance may be indicated.

MeSH terms

  • Exanthema / complications*
  • Exanthema / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parechovirus*
  • Picornaviridae Infections / complications*
  • Picornaviridae Infections / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Seizures / complications*
  • Seizures / epidemiology