Parechovirus and enterovirus infections in neonates

Folia Med Cracov. 2019;59(1):37-47.


Background: Parechovirus and enterovirus belong to a family of Picornaviridae, non- enveloped, small-sized RNA viruses, responsible for multiple human diseases. Recent introduction of molecular tests enabled the identi cation of parechovirus and enterovirus infections. Our aim was a retrospective analysis of signs and symptoms associated with confirmed parechovirus or enterovirus infections among children treated in the Department of Neonatology, St. Louis Regional Children's Hospital in Kraków, Poland.

Methods: Based on laboratory records, we identified all cases of parecho- or enterovirus infections confirmed by identification of viral RNA in nasal swab or cerebrospinal fluid samples. Hospital records and laboratory tests results of selected patients were then analyzed, and selected data were summarized, with emphasis on clinical and laboratory findings at admission.

Results: We identified 11 cases of parechovirus and three of enterovirus infections. All cases were neonates admitted to hospital with fever and irritability. Except for leukopenia in 50% of patients, no significant abnormalities were noted in blood counts and serum biochemistry, including low C-reactive protein and procalcitonin. In nine cases, cerebrospinal fluid was collected, the fluid protein concentrations and cell counts were moderately increased. Final diagnosis was meningitis in 12 children, and other viral infections in two.

Conclusions: Viral infection, including parecho- and enteroviruses, should be considered in the etiology of fever and meningitis in neonates. The available molecular tests allow for detection of viral genetic material even in a scant biological specimen collected from neonates.

Keywords: human enterovirus; human parechovirus; infants; infection; neonates.

MeSH terms

  • Enterovirus Infections / diagnosis
  • Enterovirus Infections / metabolism
  • Enterovirus Infections / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Fever
  • Hospitals, Pediatric
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Leukopenia
  • Male
  • Meningitis, Viral / diagnosis
  • Meningitis, Viral / metabolism
  • Meningitis, Viral / physiopathology*
  • Nasal Cavity
  • Parechovirus
  • Picornaviridae Infections / diagnosis
  • Picornaviridae Infections / metabolism
  • Picornaviridae Infections / physiopathology*
  • RNA, Viral / cerebrospinal fluid
  • RNA, Viral / metabolism
  • Retrospective Studies


  • RNA, Viral