Background:Rotaviruses are the most common cause of viral gastroenteritis in newborns and young children. The current study intended to investigate the presence of rotavirus antigen in fecal specimens of children with acute diarrhea, to determine its prevalence and to examine its distribution pattern by age, gender and season.
Objectives:This was a retrospective investigation of cases with rotavirus antigen-positive fecal specimens from children under 5 years referring to the emergency department with acute gastroenteritis between January 2008 and December 2010. Patient distribution patterns by season, month and age groups were recorded.
Patients and Methods:Rotavirus antigen was detected in 412 out of 1500 fecal specimens; 279 of these cases (66%) were male. The presence of rotavirus antigen in fecal specimens was investigated using the immunochromatographic test (VIKIA Rota-Adeno, bioMrieux sa, Marcy-lEtoile/France), following the manufacturers recommendations.
Results:Rotavirus positivity was most common in the 24-36 months age group (n = 104, 25%) (P < 0.001). Positivity was most frequent in January, February and March. The high level determined in January was statistically significant (n = 69, 17%) (P < 0.001). Most of the cases were found in winter months (n = 179, 43%), and it was also statistically significant (P < 0.001).
Conclusions:Rotavirus was most common in children with gastroenteritis aged between 24 and 36 months. The high numbers of cases were found in winter, with the highest peak in January. Rotavirus gastroenteritis appeared as a significant infection, particularly in winter months in children under 5 years. Vaccination could be helpful in protecting against the disease, since it imposes a significant burden on the health system.
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