Human parechovirus (HPeV) A and B, is one of the recently described Picorrnaviridae viruses, of which 17 different types are currently known (HPeV-1 to 17) for HPeV-A and 4 different types for HPeV-B. Only HPeV-A can infect humans.
Human parechoviruses (HPeV) are small RNA viruses, whose genome is found in an icosahedral capsid, to which symptoms of fever of unknown origin (FUO), clinical sepsis, gastroenteritis, meningitis or encephalitis have been mainly associated in young infants.
Along with human enteroviruses (EV), HPeVs are causative agents of aseptic meningitis and febrile syndromes in childhood.
Clinical features: Most infections caused by these viruses are mild (febrile syndromes, respiratory symptoms), although they can cause a variety of clinical syndromes with respiratory, gastrointestinal, cerebral and sepsis-type involvement. Parechovirus is spread through contact with an infected person's breath (by sneezing or coughing), saliva, or faeces.
Diagnosis: Due to the increasing knowledge about the HPeV genome sequences, PCR currently represents the tool of choice for the sensitive and specific detection of these viruses.
Treatment: There is no treatment for HPeV infections yet. In severe cases, treatment with intravenous immunoglobulin has been used.