Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Prevalence and factors associated with rotavirus infection among children admitted with acute diarrhea in Uganda

Jane S Nakawesi1*, Eric Wobudeya2, Grace Ndeezi1, Edison A Mworozi2 and James K Tumwine1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, School of Medicine, Makerere University College of Health Sciences, P. O Box 7072 Kampala, Uganda

2 Department of Paediatrics and Child health, Mulago National Referral Hospital, P.O. Box 7051 Kampala, Uganda

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BMC Pediatrics 2010, 10:69  doi:10.1186/1471-2431-10-69

Published: 24 September 2010



Rotavirus remains the commonest cause of severe dehydrating diarrhea among children worldwide. Children in developing countries die more because of several factors including poorer access to hydration therapy and greater prevalence of malnutrition. Hitherto, the magnitude of rotavirus disease in Uganda has remained unknown. This study was therefore done to determine the prevalence and factors associated with rotavirus infection among children aged 3-59 months admitted with acute diarrhea to paediatric emergency ward of Mulago Hospital, Uganda


Three hundred and ninety children, aged between 3-59 months with acute diarrhoea were recruited. The clinical history, socio-demographic characteristics, physical examination findings and laboratory investigations were recorded. Stool samples were tested for rotavirus antigens using the DAKO IDEIA rotavirus EIA detection kit.


The prevalence of rotavirus infection was 45.4%. On multivariate analysis rotavirus was significantly associated with a higher education (above secondary) level of the mother [OR 1.8; 95% CI 1.1-2.7]; dehydration [OR 1.8; 95% CI 1.1-3.0] and breastfeeding [OR 2.6; 95% CI 1.4-4.0]. Although age was significantly associated with rotavirus on bivariate analysis; this association disappeared on multivariate analysis. No significant association was found between rotavirus infection and nutritional status, HIV status and attendance of day care or school.


Rotavirus infection is highly prevalent among children with acute diarrhoea admitted to Mulago Hospital in Uganda.