Young children with central nervous system infection symptoms may have human parechovirus as a possible diagnosis, according to recent study findings published in The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.
“Human parechoviruses are increasingly recognized as significant etiological agents for meningoencephalitis, especially in young children, but testing of cerebrospinal fluid for [human parechovirus] by PCR is not routinely performed,” the researchers wrote.
The study included cerebrospinal fluid samples from 440 children collected from 2008 to August 2012. Seventy-five percent of the patients were younger than 5 years and 49% were younger than 3 months.
Researchers found that 12 patients (2.7%) were positive for human parechovirus and all were younger than 5 years. Enterovirus was present in 10.7% of the samples. There was a prevalence rate of 3.6% for human parechovirus and 12% for enterovirus in patients aged 5 years and younger.
Patients who tested positive for human parechovirus also were more likely to have neurological symptoms compared with patients positive for enterovirus.
“[Human parechovirus] infections of the central nervous system occurred mainly in young infants and were more commonly associated with neurological symptoms at presentation, despite the fact that [cerebrospinal fluid] findings were within the normal range in the vast majority of these cases,” the researchers wrote.
Disclosure: The researchers report no relevant financial disclosures.