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DOI: 10.1093/ofid/ofaa261; PMCID: PMC7443103


Background: Enterovirus (EV) and parechovirus type A3 (PeV-A3) cause infections ranging from asymptomatic to life-threatening. Host immune responses in children, particularly innate responses to PeV-A3, remain largely unknown. The aim of this study was to determine aspects of the cytokine/chemokine responses to EV and PeV-A3 in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and plasma obtained from children with systemic/central nervous system infection.

Methods: A total of 74 salvaged CSF samples (27 with EV, 23 with PeV-A3, and 24 with neither EV nor PeV-A3) and 35 paired blood samples (10 with EV, 14 with PeV-A3, and 11 with neither) were studied. Concentrations of cytokines and chemokines were measured using a customized 21-plex MILLIPLEX MAP Human Cytokine/Chemokine Magnetic Bead Panel. Additionally, clinical characteristics data for all the patients were collected from electronic medical records to evaluate the potential association between the immune response and presentations.

Results: We demonstrate that EV and PeV-A3 infections induce different cytokine/chemokine immune responses in children. EV induces more robust responses in CSF with significantly elevated levels of fractalkine, interferon (IFN)-α2, IFN-γ, interleukin (IL)-1Rα, IL-4, IL-8, and tumor necrosis factor α; PeV-A3 induces less robust or absent responses in CSF but robust responses in plasma, with significantly higher concentrations of IFN-α2, IL-15, IL-1Rα, interferon-γ-inducible protein-10, and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1.

Conclusions: High cytokine/chemokine concentrations in the plasma of PeV-A3 patients compared with EV patients could explain higher/more prolonged fever in PeV-A3 patients, whereas relatively low cytokine/chemokine concentrations in PeV-A3 CSF might explain the absence of CSF pleocytosis.

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Open Forum Infect Dis





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cerebrospinal fluid; enterovirus; immune response; parechovirus; plasma


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