Importance of human Parechovirus testing
It has become clear that human parechovirus (HPeV) is an important differential diagnosis in the septic neonate or young infant.
HPeV3 infections appear to be especially important, being most commonly associated with severe illness like neonatal sepsis, meningitis and paralysis. Other HPeV types appear to cause mild gastroenteritis and respiratory symptoms. Because clinical presentation of HPeV3 infection in neonates is similar to rare cases of enterovirus (EV) infection and EV molecular assays do not detect HPeV, its involvement is underdiagnosed.
There is a consensus that HPeV testing in young children presenting with sepsis is a requirement, in particular in children without another clear diagnosis.
A recent paper highlights the importance of testing for HPeV.