Parainfluenza virus types 1, 2, and 3 are members of the paramyxovirus family, and along with RSV, constitute the most important respiratory viral pathogens for infants and children. Type 1 and 2 infections are noted most frequently during the autumn months with type 1 occurring in a unique pattern of every other year and type 2 infections occurring unpredictably. Parainfluenza virus type 3, however, has an endemic nature with occasional small rises in infection lasting for 2 to 3 months. Syndromes involved with parainfluenza infections include colds, laryngitis, croup (type 1 is the most important cause), bronchitis/tracheobronchitis and bronchiolitis (type 3 is second only to RSV), and pneumonia (type 3 most often). As with RSV, parainfluenza viruses reinfect with great frequency and are generally wide spread by the age of 2 for type 3 and age 5 for type 1 and 2 infections. Though parainfluenza viruses produce their most serious disease states in children from 2 to 4 years of age, recurrent infections, particularly due to parainfluenza type 3, have been noted in adults.
Please refer to Viral Respiratory Diseases for information on the VRK kit.