Astrovirus, adenovirus, and rotavirus in hospitalized children: Prevalence and association with gastroenteritis

Norberto Rodriguez-Baez, Rebbeca O'Brien, Shi Qiang Qiu, Dorsey M. Bass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Background: Agents of viral gastroenteritis such as astrovirus, rotavirus, and adenovirus are common pediatric pathogens accounting for many physician visits, hospital admissions, and nosocomial infections. Previous hospital-based prevalence studies have examined mainly symptomatic children. Purpose: To evaluate the prevalence of astrovirus, rotavirus, and adenovirus infections among hospitalized children less than 6 years of age, regardless of symptoms, and determine association with gastroenteritis. Methods: From September 1998 to June 2000, stool specimens were collected twice weekly from children less than five years of age admitted to two wards in a tertiary-care children's hospital. A total of 480 samples were obtained from 309 hospitalizations. Stools were examined using antibody-based ELISA for astrovirus, rotavirus, and adenovirus. Clinical data was abstracted from patient records. Results: Twenty one percent of the children had gastroenteritis symptoms at some point during their hospitalizations (43% were hospital acquired). Astrovirus was detected in 5.2% of all children compared to 6.8% with rotavirus and 0.8% with adenovirus serotypes 40 or 41. Nosocomial acquisition was common. Seventy five percent of astrovirus infections and 90% rotavirus infections were symptomatic. Astrovirus infections were significantly more likely to occur in younger infants and in children with compromised immunity. Rotavirus infections were significantly more likely to cause dehydration. In a three-year passive surveillance of gastroenteritis at the hospital, astrovirus and rotavirus infections peaked simultaneously in winter months. Conclusions: Rotavirus and astrovirus are common symptomatic infections on pediatric wards and contribute greatly to inpatient morbidity. Adenoviruses played a limited role in gastroenteritis in hospitalized children in this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-68
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Gastroenterology


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