BACKGROUND: Human Parechovirus (HPeV) and Enterovirus (EV) are known causes of viral infection and meningitis in childhood. Not much is known about the motor development of young Caucasian children after these infections. Most studies in the literature involved Asian children with only EV-71 infection, which is not prevalent in Western countries.
METHODS: In this prospective multicenter blinded cohort study we tested the motor function level of children 24 months after an HPeV or EV infection (meningitis or elsewhere) and uninfected peers, with Bayley Scales of Infant Development -3 (BSID-3) and Movement Assessment Battery for Children-2 (M-ABC-2-NL). The total motor outcome, the fine motor function outcome and the gross motor function outcome were measured. Impaired motor development was defined as a z-score ≤-1.
RESULTS: Of the 157 analyzed children, the total motor outcome was impaired in 16 (10%), the gross motor function was impaired in 26 (27%) and the fine motor function in 9 (6%) children. There was no significant difference between the outcome of children with a meningitis, an infection elsewhere and uninfected peers. In addition, no differences in motor development were found in a subgroup analysis after correcting for confounders, including age and gender.
CONCLUSIONS: No significant differences in motor development were found between HPeV or EV infected and uninfected Dutch children after 24 months of follow-up.