Human parechovirus 3 (HPeV3) recombinant strain diversity and severe disease association in Australian outbreaks

What does this project mean for future outbreaks?

  • APPRISE has launched a research project to examine parechovirus, a serious emerging infection in Australia.
  • Parechovirus can cause acute sepsis-like/meningitis-like disease in infants.
  • Three parechovirus outbreaks have occurred in 2013/2014, 2015/2016 and 2017/2018, with hundreds of infants hospitalised.
  • Researchers across Australia will study the genetic code of the viruses from the last three epidemics to see if a specific type of virus causes a more serious form of the illness.
  • Finding genetic markers of different types of parechovirus would help researchers develop diagnostic tools that can be used for hospital and community testing.
  • The researchers involved in the project are in four Australian states (Victoria, NSW, Queensland and WA) and will work together to establish collaborative networks and share samples and data important for effective research at a national level.

Read a news story covering the project.

Project details

The aims of this project are to examine:

  • the epidemiology and clinical features of the 2017 parechovirus (HPeV3) outbreak in Australian infants
  • the evolution of the parechovirus in Australia over three epidemic cycles
  • the impact of the viral evolution on parechovirus epidemiology and disease
  • the prevalence of parechovirus infection (seropositivity) in infants/children/adults
  • lessons about ongoing syndromic surveillance for parechovirus from the 2017/2018 outbreak
  • recombinant strain sequence diversity variation by outbreak year and geographic origin
  • specific recombinant HPeV3 strain association with severe disease.

The project will also:

  • address unmet areas of need – sharing HPeV samples, sequences and strain data and developing detection tools
  • develop the network capacity of APPRISE
  • express a translational plan – make available real-time PCR detection tools and assays for clinical management
  • outline the process for stakeholder identification and engagement – including the Public Health Laboratory Network (PHLN), Communicable diseases Network Australia (CDNA), the Queensland Parechovirus Study Group and the Paediatric Active Enhanced Disease Surveillance Network (PAEDS).

Related Research Areas

  • Clinical research and infection prevention
  • Laboratory research
  • Key populations

Related Cross-cutting Themes

  • Partnerships, collaboration and translation