Epidemiological and clinical features of rotavirus among children younger than 5 years of age hospitalized with acute gastroenteritis in Northern Italy
1 Department of Paediatrics, Luigi Sacco Hospital, Università di Milano, Milan, Italy
2 Department of Public Health, Microbiology and Virology, Università di Milano, Milan, Italy
3 Department of Paediatrics, "Guido Salvini" Hospital, Garbagnate Milanese, Italy
4 Department of Paediatrics, Ospedale di Desio, Desio, Italy
5 Department of Paediatrics, Ospedale di Sesto San Giovanni, Sesto San Giovanni, Italy
6 Department of Paediatrics, Ospedale di Carate Brianza, Carate Brianza, Italy
7 Department of Paediatrics, Ospedale Provinciale di Saronno, Saronno, Italy
8 Unit for Prevention, Hygiene and Infectious Diseases of the Health's General Office of Lombardy Region, Milan, Italy
9 Department of Paediatrics and Unit of Medical Statistics, Università di Milano, San Paolo Hospital, Milan, Italy
BMC Infectious Diseases 2010, 10:218 doi:10.1186/1471-2334-10-218Published: 22 July 2010
Rotavirus is the major cause of acute gastroenteritis and severe dehydrating diarrhea in young children.
To estimate the proportion of hospital admissions for rotavirus acute gastroenteritis and identify the circulating G and P genotypes among children under five years of age, we conducted a prospective observational study from January to December 2008, recruiting children consecutively admitted to six hospitals in Milan and nearby towns in northern Italy. Typing was done on stool samples by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction amplification.
Of the 521 stool samples from children with acute gastroenteritis, 34.9% (95%CI, 30.8 to 39.2%) were rotavirus-positive. Two thirds (67.6%) were under two years of age, and 13.2% were under six months. The predominant G type was G1 (40.7%), followed by G9 (22.5%), G2 (13.2%), G3 (5.5%), G4 (3.8%) and G10 (1.6%). Twenty-one (11.7%) mixed-G infections were identified: G1+G10 (8.8%); G1+G9 (1.6%); and G2+G10 (1.2%). Only P (67.6%) and P (12.6%) types were P genotyped. The predominant single G/P combination was G1P (39.7%), followed by G9P (25.3%), G2P (14.3%), and G3P (4.1%). All G-mixed types combined with P.
These findings show an high prevalence of rotavirus infections among children admitted to hospital for acute gastroenteritis caused by different rotavirus strains circulating in the area studied.