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J Clin Virol. 2008 Feb;41(2):75-80.

Clinical validation of a new real-time PCR assay for detection of enteroviruses and parechoviruses, and implications for diagnostic procedures.

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Public Health Laboratory Friesland, Post Box 21020, 8900 JA Leeuwarden, The Netherlands.

Erratum in

  • J Clin Virol. 2008 Nov;43(3):351.



Enteroviruses (EV) and parechoviruses (HPeV) are the most common causes of aseptic meningitis, encephalitis and sepsis-like syndrome in neonates. Detection by nucleic acid amplification methods improves patient management.


Development of a real-time PCR assay on a LightCycler for simultaneous detection of EV, HPeV and an internal control to monitor inhibition.


We investigated the value of the new assay, prospectively, in a variety of samples from patients suspected of having viral meningitis or sepsis-like syndrome.


The assay detected 64 EV serotypes and HPeV types 1-4. Of 186 patients, 63 (33.9%) were EV positive and 18 (9.7%) HPeV positive in one or more samples. In 43 of 159 feces and 6 of 57 throat samples viral culture and PCR were positive. With real-time PCR 27 extra EV and 19 HPeV positives were found. Blood and CSF were present from 33 patients. In 19 patients blood and CSF were positive, one was only positive in CSF, two were only positive in blood, 11 were negative. From 96 patients CSF and/or blood samples were tested and compared to results in throat and/or feces samples. Forty patients were EV-PCR and 14 HPeV-PCR positive in blood and/or CSF. All of these were confirmed by a positive PCR for the respective virus in feces and/or throat.


Simultaneous detection of EV and HPeV with this two-step real-time PCR is specific, faster and more sensitive than viral culture. All systemic infections (blood or CSF positive) were confirmed in feces. Culture is no longer necessary for clinical diagnosis and should only be performed on PCR-positive samples to obtain isolates for typing purposes. Application of this assay is an important improvement for patient management since the outcome of the analysis is available within the time frame of clinical decision-making.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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