Background: Human parechovirus type 3 (HPeV3) infection can cause sepsis-like syndrome and meningoencephalitis in neonates and young infants. Although maculopapular rash is a reported clinical manifestation of HPeV3 infection, the frequency and detailed characteristics of rash in neonates and young infants with HPeV3 infection are unknown.
Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the clinical characteristics of neonates and young infants who received a diagnosis of HPeV3 infection on the basis of real-time polymerase chain reaction analysis of serum and/or cerebrospinal fluid specimens at the National Center for Child Health and Development in Tokyo between November 2010 and September 2011.
Results: Fifteen neonates and young infants were diagnosed as having HPeV3 infection; median age was 33 days (range: 10–81 days). The most common clinical presentation on admission was fever (80%), the median duration of which was 3 days (range: 1–4 days). Five (33%) children required admission to the intensive care unit for close observation, and 2 (13%) required mechanical ventilation for cardiovascular instability. After hospitalization, all children developed rash, mainly on the extremities, at a mean of 3 days (range: 1–5 days) after fever onset. The most striking finding was that 80% (12/15) of patients developed a distinctive palmar–plantar erythematous rash, which disappeared after a median of 3 days (range: 2–7 days). All patients were discharged from hospital without serious sequelae.
Conclusions: Palmar–plantar erythema in febrile neonates and young infants may be a diagnostic clue of HPeV3 infection.