Objective Rotavirus (RV) is a major cause of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) requiring hospitalizations in young children in Europe and strains are known to vary temporally and geographically. The aim of this study was to determine RV serotype distribution in Spanish children aged <5 years.
Methods A prospective study was conducted in 3 hospitals in Spain between March 2005 and August 2006. Children aged <5 years presenting to emergency rooms (ER), requiring hospitalization for community-acquired (CAH) AGE, or presenting with hospital-acquired (HA) RVGE were identified and stool samples were collected and tested by ELISA for detection of RV antigen and by RT-PCR to determine RV G and P types. This study was part of a multi-country study to evaluate the burden of RV in various European settings.
Results A total of 985 children <5 years with AGE were recruited, 756 (76.8%) via ER, 201 (20.4%) hospitalized with CAH AGE and 28 (2.8%) with HA AGE. Stool samples were tested from 825 AGE cases of which 246 (29.8%) were RV (+). G9P(8) was the most prevalent RV serotype (74%) followed by G1P(8) (12%) and G3P(8) (11%).
Conclusions RV was a major cause of AGE among children <5 years in Spain accounting for 29.8% of AGE cases (ER and hospitalizations). G9P(8) was the most prevalent RV serotype. Results of large scale, randomized phase III studies conducted in Europe and Latin America show RotarixTM to provide a high level of protection against all commonly circulated Spanish RV types, including G9P(8).
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