Background and Aims Noroviruses are one of the common causes of acute gastroenteritis and have a great impact on child health. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of Norovirus in children with acute gastroenteritis in 2009 and 2010.
Methods Fecal samples were collected from children under 16 years of age who were suffering from acute gastroenteritis. All the children were referred to Yeditepe University Hospital, located in Istanbul. Norovirus was detected using immunochromatography.
Results Norovirus infection was detected in 112 of the 1027 collected samples (10.9%). Most of the positive cases were between 1 and 24 months of age (n=75, 67%). The rate of norovirus infection peaked in winter in 2010 (in winter and spring: n=57, 92%), however, the rates were not significantly different between seasons in 2009 (in winter and spring: n=26, 52%, in summer: n=23, 46%). We did not detect any positive cases in late summer and autumn in 2010.
Conclusions This study improves our epidemiological knowledge of the prevalence of Norovirus in Istanbul. Immunochromatography is preferable, that provides rapid diagnosis. The prevalence of Norovirus is similar but seasonal distribution is different between two years. Most of the cases were < 24 months of age. Because this virus is transmitted by contaminated food or water, and transmitted by personal contact, we recommend improved training in hygiene to reduce the incidence of Norovirus infection in children. Like Rotavirus, Norovirus vaccine can be developed to prevent infection.