A novel multiplex one-step real-time RT-PCR assay for the simultaneous identification of enterovirus and parechovirus in clinical fecal samples


multiplex one-step real-time RT-PCR


Introduction: Enterovirus (EV) and parechovirus (PeV) can either infect humans asymptomatically or can cause gastroenteritis, respiratory symptoms and, sometimes, severe disease. As the number of newly identified EV and PeV genotypes keeps increasing, diagnostic methods need to be updated. To this end, we described a novel multiplex one-step real-time RT-PCR to detect EV and human PeV (HPeV) simultaneously in fecal samples collected from children with rotavirus group A (RV-A)-related gastroenteritis.

Methods: The specificity and sensitivity of the EV/HPeV real-time RT-PCR were evaluated with two 2011 Quality Control for Molecular Diagnostics (QCMD) panels for EV and HPeV detection. RNA was extracted from 111 RV-A-positive fecal samples collected from children up to 5 years of age who had been hospitalized for gastroenteritis from September 2010 to August 2011.

Results: The EV/HPeV real-time RT-PCR showed a 100% sensitivity and specificity for EV and 91% and 91.7% for HPeV, respectively. Of the 111 RV-A-positive stool specimens, 28 (25.2%) were EV-positive and 7 (6.3%) were HPeV-positive. No clinical differences between children with single or double infections were observed.

Discussion: In our study, the frequency of EV and HPeV infections was surprisingly high, thus underlining the importance of including EV and HPeV detection in diagnostic panels. The multiplex real-time RT-PCR presented in this paper can therefore be a useful method in a diagnostic setting.



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