Childhood Outcomes Following Parechovirus Infections in a US Young Infant Cohort

Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2021 Apr 1;40(4):295-299. doi: 10.1097/INF.0000000000002988.


Background: Parechovirus A type 3 (PeV-A3) is associated with central nervous system infection in young infants. There are limited data regarding long-term outcomes, mostly reported from Australia and European populations. The objective of this study was to assess frequency of neurodevelopmental impairment (NDI) following PeV-A3 infection in our US cohort.

Methods: Infants hospitalized during the 2014 outbreak with laboratory-confirmed PeV-A3 infection were evaluated with medical history, neurologic examination, parental completion of Ages and Stages Questionnaire and developmental assessment using Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Third Edition cognitive, motor and language quotients. Determination of NDI was based on published criteria. Relationship of severity of PeV disease to outcome measures was determined using Fisher exact, χ2 and Mann-Whitney U test as appropriate.

Results: Nineteen children, term gestation, were evaluated at ~3 years of age; PeV-A3 illness was uncomplicated for 6 (32%), complex, non-neurologic for 9 (47%) and encephalitis/seizures for 4 (21%). No differences were noted in mean Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, Third Edition quotients between infants by clinical presentation. Quotients for all were within 1 SD of population norms. Two (11%) children had mild NDI; 1 with mild cerebral palsy. Ages and Stages Questionnaire results included 11% at referral level and 37% suspect concern. Parents of 6 (32%) noted behavior concerns. These findings were unrelated to severity of the PeV-A3 illness.

Conclusions: Parent concerns were identified frequently following infant PeV-A3 disease. Eleven percent had neurodevelopmental impairment at 3 years of age. Severity at presentation did not correlate with adverse childhood outcomes. Longitudinal developmental monitoring following infantile PeV-A3 disease is warranted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Central Nervous System Infections / epidemiology
  • Central Nervous System Infections / virology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Neurodevelopmental Disorders / virology
  • Parechovirus / classification
  • Parechovirus / genetics
  • Parechovirus / pathogenicity*
  • Picornaviridae Infections / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Picornaviridae Infections / complications*
  • Picornaviridae Infections / diagnosis
  • Picornaviridae Infections / epidemiology*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • United States / epidemiology