Introduction: Most human parechovirus (HPeV, family Picornaviridae) infections are asymptomatic but may cause gastroenteritis in children. New reports show that HPeVs can be associated with severe central nervous system symptoms and sepsis-like syndromes in infants. The clinical significance of HPeVs in Hungary has not been investigated before. Aim: The aim of this study was to detect genotype HPeV in faecal samples of children and analysis of the clinical symptoms. Method: For the detection and genotyping of HPeV strains, reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction and sequencing methods were used from faecal samples of children with gastroenteritis divided into three groups: group A) hospitalised children younger than 10 years (n = 75); group B) 0–12 months infants (n = 237) and group C) children less than 18 years of age with sepsis-like/neurological symptoms (n = 105) were tested. Results: Three HPeV positive samples (3/75, 4%) were found in group A, two of them belong to the HPeV type 1, the third was non-typeable. All positive samples were from infants of 7 to 11 months of age. In group B, HPeV was detected in 6.8% (16/237) of the samples. Five were HPeV1, six were HPeV3 and five were non-typeable. While most of the infants with HPeV1 (4/5) did not require hospitalisation, 83% of the HPeV3 infected infants (5/6) did. Five (4.8%) HPeV strains detected from children less than 18 years of age with sepsis-like/neurological symptoms (group C) belonged to HPeV1 (three) and HPeV3 (two). All positive samples were from hospitalised infants less than 2 months of age. Conclusion: HPeV1 infections are less severe in infants than HPeV3 infections. The leading symptom of HPeV1 was diarrhoea, although in infants less than 1–2 months neurological symptoms (somnolence, lassitude) were also present. HPeV3 infections were more common among newborns. The main symptoms of severe HPeV3 infection are: gastroenteritis (7/8), fever ≥38 oC (6/7), loss of appetite (6/7), rash (4/7), somnolence/lassitude (3/7), sepsis-like syndrome (3/7) and respiratory symptoms (2/7).
- Human parechovirus
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