The aim of the study was to diagnose infections with rotavirus and other enteric pathogens in children under five years old with acute gastroenteritis and to identify the most common epidemiological and clinical characteristics of these pathogens. The study was conducted using 110 stool samples from the same number of children under five years old who were inpatients at three paediatric hospitals in Havana, Cuba, between October and December 2011. The samples were tested for rotavirus and other enteric pathogens using traditional and molecular microbiological methods. Pathogens were detected in 85 (77.3 %) of the children. Rotavirus was the most commonly found, appearing in 54.5 % of the children, followed by bacteria (29 %) and parasites (10.9 %). Other viral pathogens detected included adenovirus (6.4 %) and astrovirus (3.6 %). In rotavirus-positives cases, at least one other pathogen was detected, usually a bacterium (26.6 %). More than three episodes of watery diarrhea in 24 hours were observed in 78.3 % of the cases. Dehydration was found in 30 (50 %) rotavirus-positive children, of whom seven (11.6 %) were transferred to an intensive care unit due to complications of metabolic acidosis. Rotavirus was most commonly observed among children under 12 months old (65 %). The highest incidence of infection occurred in children who were under the care of a relative at home (78.3 %), had not been breastfed (65 %), or had been breastfed for less than six months (28.3 %). The genotype combinations most frequently found were G9P8 (28.3 %) and G1P8 (10 %). This study demonstrates the presence of rotavirus and other enteric pathogens as causes of gastroenteritis in hospitalized infants and young children in Cuba.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: May 31, 2015
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