Though parechovirus (PeV) and enterovirus (EV) are common causes of central nervous system (CNS) infection in childhood, little is known about their long-term neurologic/neurodevelopmental complications. We investigated, longitudinally over a 5-year period, motor neurodevelopment in term-born newborns and infants with RT-qPCR-confirmed PeV- or EV-CNS infection. Motor neurodevelopment was assessed with standardized tests: Alberta Infant Motor Scale (AIMS), Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development version-3 (Bayley-3-NL), and Movement Assessment Battery for Children version-2 (M-ABC-2-NL) at 6, 12, 24, and 60 months post-infection. Results of children with PeV-CNS infection were compared with those of peers with EV-CNS infection and with Dutch norm references. In the multivariate analyses adjustments were made for age at onset, gender, maternal education, and time from CNS infection Sixty of 172 eligible children aged ≤ 3 months were included. Children with PeV-CNS infection had consistently lower, non-significant mean gross motor function (GMF) Z-scores, compared with peers with EV-CNS infection and population norm-referenced GMF. Their GMF improved between 6 and 24 months and decreased at 5 years. Their fine motor function (FMF) scores fell within the population norm reference. Conclusion: These results suggest that the impact of PeV-A3-CNS infection on gross motor neurodevelopment in young children might manifest later in life. They highlight the importance of longitudinal neurodevelopmental assessments of children with PeV-A3-CNS infection up to school age.What is Known:• Human parechovirus (PeV) is a major cause of central nervous system infection (CNS infection) in newborns and infants.• There is interest in the neurological and neurodevelopmental outcome of newborns and infants with PeV-A3-CNS infection.What is New:• This prospective study compares the motor neurodevelopment of term-born newborns and infants with PeV-A3-CNS infection with those with EV-CNS infection and with norm references.• The results support the importance of follow-up of newborns and infants with PeV-A3-CNS infection to detect subtle neurodevelopmental delay and start early interventions.
- Central nervous system infection
- Neurodevelopmental outcomes