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J Paediatr Child Health. 2018 Mar;54(3):289-295. doi: 10.1111/jpc.13728. Epub 2017 Sep 28.

High prevalence of developmental concern amongst infants at 12 months following hospitalised parechovirus infection.

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Marie Bashir Institute of Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, Children's Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
Department of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Sydney Children's Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.



The human parechovirus (HPeV) is an increasingly recognised cause of sepsis and central nervous system infection in young infants for which there are limited long-term outcome data. We aimed to assess neurodevelopmental outcome and quality of life in infants following hospitalised HPeV infection.


This cohort study was a 12-month follow-up of infants who were hospitalised with confirmed HPeV infection at the Sydney Children's Hospitals Network during an outbreak in Sydney in 2013. Telephone interviews were conducted with parents/guardians. We administered standardised questionnaires, including: Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ), Liverpool Outcome Score-follow-up, Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory(PedsQL) Infant scales and Short-Form health survey (SF-12).


We followed up 46 of 79 infants (58%) aged between 12 and 16 months who had been hospitalised with HPeV infection; 19% showed significant concern in developmental attainment (ASQ3 score <2 standard deviation below population mean), and 50% showed some concern (<1 standard deviation below mean). ASQ3 developmental outcome was associated with the presence of neurodevelopmental sequelae (lower total Liverpool Outcome Score) and poorer health-related quality of life (HRQOL) in physical functioning (PedsQL physical component score), but not overall HRQOL (total PedsQL score) or parental HRQOL (SF-12 scores). No significant associations were identified between clinical or laboratory features during acute hospitalisation and adverse outcome on ASQ3.


A high proportion of infants show developmental concern at 12-month follow-up post-hospitalisation with HPeV infection. Clinical features during hospitalisation were not associated with adverse outcomes at 12 months. These results suggest that careful follow-up of young infants hospitalised with HPeV disease may be warranted.


central nervous system; development; infant; newborn; outcome; parechovirus

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