Novel Human Parechovirus 3 Diversity, Recombination, and Clinical Impact Across 7 Years: An Australian Story

Seweryn Bialasiewicz, Meryta May, Sarah Tozer, Rebecca Day, Anne Bernard, Julian Zaugg, Kyana Gartrell, Soren Alexandersen, Anthony Chamings, Claire Y T Wang, Julia Clark, Keith Grimwood (+6 others)
BACKGROUND A novel human parechovirus 3 Australian recombinant (HPeV3-AR) strain emerged in 2013 and coincided with biennial outbreaks of sepsis-like illnesses in infants. We evaluated the molecular evolution of the HPeV3-AR strain and its association with severe HPeV infections. METHODS HPeV3-positive samples collected from hospitalized infants aged 5-252 days in 2 Australian states (2013-2020) and from a communitybased birth cohort (2010-2014) were sequenced. Coding regions were used to
more » ... t phylogenetic and evolutionary analyses. A recombinant-specific polymerase chain reaction was designed and utilized to screen all clinical and community HPeV3-positive samples. RESULTS Complete coding regions of 54 cases were obtained, which showed the HPeV3-AR strain progressively evolving, particularly in the 3' end of the nonstructural genes. The HPeV3-AR strain was not detected in the community birth cohort until the initial outbreak in late 2013. High-throughput screening showed that most (>75%) hospitalized HPeV3 cases involved the AR strain in the first 3 clinical outbreaks, with declining prevalence in the 2019-2020 season. The AR strain was not statistically associated with increased clinical severity among hospitalized infants. CONCLUSIONS HPeV3-AR was the dominant strain during the study period. Increased hospital admissions may have been from a temporary fitness advantage and/or increased virulence.
doi:10.5167/uzh-227052 fatcat:7xc5gcp6a5e6bjnbmlyogxsvue