Genus: Parechovirus

Genus: Parechovirus

Distinguishing features

The genus is distinguished on the basis of genetic characters.



No surface morphology is visible by EM. The crystal structures of human parechovirus 1 and 3 and Ljungan virus 1 have been resolved (Zhu et al., 2015, Shakeel et al., 2016).

Physicochemical and physical properties

Virions are acid stable. The buoyant density in CsCl is 1.36 g cm-3.

Nucleic acid

Genome (Smits et al., 2013, Hyypia et al., 1992, Ghazi et al., 1998, Niklasson et al., 1999, Joffret et al., 2013): 7,339–7,608 nt (5′-UTR: 710–730 nt; ORF: 6,543–6,753; 3′-UTR: 87–111 nt). The 5′-UTR contains a typical type II IRES. The cre has been identified in the 1AB region for human parechoviruses and is thought to lie within the 3B region of Ljungan viruses.

Genome organization and replication

Genome layout

VPg+5′-UTRIRES-II- [1AB-1C-1D-(2Anpgp)/2AH-box/NC-2B-2C/3A-3B-3C-3D]-3′-UTR-poly(A)

The deduced polyprotein ranges from 2,180–2,250 aa. The polyprotein contains only a single protease (3Cpro). Members of Parechovirus B, C, D possess a 2A protein with NPG↓P motif. all parechoviruses have 2A protein with a H-box/NC motif.


Human parechoviruses are divided into 18 genetic types and there is no cross-neutralization between types 1, 2 and 3. There may be a cross-reaction between types 2 and 5, however, the remaining types have not been tested. Ljungan viruses are divided into five genetic types, but antigenic relationships have not been studied. Parechovirus C and D each contain one type.


Human parechoviruses replicate in the respiratory and gastrointestinal tract. Infection is particularly prevalent in infants and young children but it is probably often asymptomatic apart from infections with human parechovirus (HPeV) type 3 which can present with severe neonatal sepsis and central nervous system damage. In addition to respiratory infections and diarrhoea, infections of the central nervous system (encephalitis, meningitis, ataxia) have been reported. HPeV types 1 and 6 have been found in monkeys with diarrhoea, although disease association was not proven. The cytopathology may be unusual in including changes in granularity and chromatin distribution in the nucleus, when viewed in the electron microscope. Ljungan viruses appear to infect predominantly rodents (voles) and have been proposed to infect humans, however, conclusive data is awaited. Some human parechoviruses (types 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6) possess an RGD tri-peptide (towards the carboxy-terminus of 1D) which is involved in integrin receptor-binding. The integrins αvβ3 and αvβ6 have been shown to be the primary receptors for HPeV-1 in A549 cells. Receptor usage for the remaining human parechoviruses and Ljungan viruses is not known. Sebokele virus was detected in mice (Hylomyscus spec.) in the Central African Republic. Ferret parechovirus was detected in rectal swabs of ferrets (Mustela putorius furo).

Species demarcation criteria

At least 25 types have been characterized genetically by phylogenetic clustering: Parechovirus A (18 types), Parechovirus B (5 types), Parechovirus C (1 type), Parechovirus D (1 type).

Members of a species of the genus Parechovirus:

  • are less than 30% divergent in polyprotein aa sequence,
  • are less than 30% divergent in P1 aa sequence,
  • are less than 20% divergent in 2C + 3CD aa sequence,
  • share a common genome organization.

The divergence (number of differences per site between sequences) between members of different Parechovirus species ranges from 0.44–0.63 for P1 and 0.34–0.59 for 3CD.

Member species

SpeciesVirus name(s)Exemplar isolateExemplar accession numberExemplar RefSeq numberAvailable sequenceOther isolatesOther isolate accession numbersVirus abbreviationIsolate abbreviation
Parechovirus Ahuman parechovirus 1HarrisS45208NC_038319Complete genomeHPeV-1
Parechovirus Ahuman parechovirus 2Williamson (Ohio/56)AJ005695HPeV-2
Parechovirus Ahuman parechovirus 3A308/99AB084913HPeV-3
Parechovirus Ahuman parechovirus 4K251176-02DQ315670HPeV-4
Parechovirus Ahuman parechovirus 5CT86-6760 (Connecticut/86)AF055846HPeV-5
Parechovirus Ahuman parechovirus 6NII561-2000 (Japan)AB252582HPeV-6
Parechovirus Ahuman parechovirus 7PAK5045EU556224HPeV-7
Parechovirus Ahuman parechovirus 8BR/217/2006EU716175HPeV-8
Parechovirus Ahuman parechovirus 9BAN2004-10902JX219575HPeV-9
Parechovirus Ahuman parechovirus 10BAN2004-10903JX219568HPeV-10
Parechovirus Ahuman parechovirus 11BAN2004-10905JX219574HPeV-11
Parechovirus Ahuman parechovirus 12BAN2004-10904JX219567HPeV-12
Parechovirus Ahuman parechovirus 13BAN2005-10901JX219579HPeV-13
Parechovirus Ahuman parechovirus 14451564/NL/2004FJ373179HPeV-14
Parechovirus Ahuman parechovirus 15BAN-11614JX219573HPeV-15
Parechovirus Ahuman parechovirus 16BAN-11615JX219580HPeV-16
Parechovirus Ahuman parechovirus 17M36/CI/2014KT319121HPeV-17
Parechovirus Ahuman parechovirus 18GhanaA29KY931659HPeV-18
Parechovirus BLjunganvirus 187-012AF327920NC_003976Complete genomeLV-1
Parechovirus BLjunganvirus 2145SLAF020541LV-2
Parechovirus BLjunganvirus 3M1146AF538689LV-3
Parechovirus BLjunganvirus 464-7855EU854568LV-4
Parechovirus BLjunganvirus 5Fuz1/Japan/2014LC133331LV-5
Parechovirus CSebokele virusAn/B/1227/dHF677705NC_021482Complete genomeSEBV
Parechovirus Dferret parechovirusferret/MpPeV1/NLKF006989NC_034453Complete genomeFPeV

Virus names, the choice of exemplar isolates, and virus abbreviations, are not official ICTV designations.

Derivation of names

Parecho-: from par(a)echo from pará Greek for beside, and echo, the former name of the type species, an acronym for "enteric, cytopathic, human, orphan"

Related, unclassified viruses

Virus name

Accession number

Virus abbreviation

Manhatten parechovirus [rat/NYC-A11/USA/2013]

KJ950935, KJ950936, KJ950913


parechovirus-like picornavirus [falcon/HA18_080/2014/HUN]



Yili teratoscincus roborowskii picornavirus 2 [LPWC210215]



Virus names and virus abbreviations are not official ICTV designations.

Phylogenetic analysis indicates that these viruses may be members of novel Parechovirus species.