Positive Impact of Routine Testing for Enterovirus and Parechovirus on Length of Hospitalization and Antimicrobial Use among Inpatients ≤6 Months of Age.

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DOI: 10.1128/JCM.02106-20; PMCID: PMC7771463


Enterovirus (EV) and parechovirus (PeV) are leading viral causes of central nervous system (CNS) infection among hospitalized neonates and young infants, yet testing for PeV is not routinely performed. The goal of our study was to determine how EV and PeV CSF RT-PCR testing impacted the duration of antibiotic use and the length of hospitalization (LOS) in children ≤6 months old with suspected CNS infection. This retrospective cohort study at Children's Mercy Kansas City evaluated data from patients ≤6 months old for whom routine CSF EV and PeV reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) testing was performed during January 2011 to December 2018. Electronic data were abstracted from the electronic medical record, including demographics, systemic antimicrobial use, imaging data, herpes simplex virus (HSV) testing, and overall hospital charges. Among 1,926 patients, 345 (17.9%) were RT-PCR positive for EV and 172 (8.9%) were positive for PeV. A significantly shorter LOS was observed for patients with EV (51.6 h; P < 0.001) and PeV (66.3 h; P = 0.048) compared to patients that tested negative for both viruses (74.1 h). Discontinuation of empirical antibiotic therapy following test result availability occurred more frequently for PeV patients (57.8%; P = 0.03) and EV patients (65.4%; P < 0.001) than RT-PCR-negative patients (48.5%). Routine EV/PeV RT-PCR testing of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples in children impacted care of hospitalized neonates and young infants. Rapid and prompt diagnosis has the potential to reduce antibiotic usage, length of stay, and patient charges.

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Journal of clinical microbiology





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MeSH Keywords

Anti-Bacterial Agents; Cerebrospinal Fluid; Child; Enterovirus; Enterovirus Infections; Hospitalization; Humans; Infant; Infant, Newborn; Inpatients; Parechovirus; Picornaviridae Infections; Retrospective Studies


antimicrobial stewardship; rapid diagnostics

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