Document Type


Publication Date



The picornaviruses human parechovirus (HPeV) and enterovirus (EV) cause a wide range of diseases, including CNS infections, which can be severe and potentially fatal. EV causes most cases of pediatric meningoencephalitis worldwide, and HPeV type 3 (HPeV3) is the most common cause of viral meningitis in young infants. Each year in the United States, there are over 75,000 cases of aseptic meningitis. Despite reassuring short-term outcomes, negative neurodevelopmental sequalae are increasingly associated with HPeV and EV.

The pathogenesis and severity of HPeV and EV infections are undoubtedly linked to the innate and adaptive immune responses elicited by these viruses. Until this work, the innate immune response mounted against HPeV was largely unknown. Pattern recognition receptors in the CNS, including a number of Toll-like receptors located in different cells and subcellular compartments, detect invading pathogens and cause the release of cytokines and chemokines almost immediately into the CSF compartment at measurable levels. Essentially, this allows for determination of an amplified, infectious agent-specific pattern.

These virus specific patterns of innate immune activation may provide insight into the pathogenesis of the corresponding disease states. Also, since these infections have similar clinical presentations, the immune profiles may be useful for rapid pathogen diagnosis in the clinical setting.