Thursday, January 15, 2015

Rare outbreak of HPeV3 Virus in New Zealand

Human parechovirus 3 (HPeV3), a rare picornavirus, was discovered in a 2012 sample of fecal matter of an infant in New Zealand this past week.  First detected a little over a decade ago in Japan, HPeV3 may be the etiological agent of certain cases of unresolved human gastroenteritis.  HPeV3 is transmitted fecal-orally, and has a broad tissue tropism that includes membranes of the brain. It is also implicated in sepsis in newborn babies, and thus can be potentially fatal.  However, the link between gastroenteritis and the virus is unclear, as infants and children infected with the virus typically do not develop symptoms.  Furthermore, the exact pathogenesis of HPeV3 is unknown. Further research on HPeV3 is needed to address these gaps in our knowledge, and could shed light on the virulence and pathogenesis of the virus.


--Andrew Duong

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