Role of rotavirus as the cause of acute pediatric diarrhea in Al-Diwaniyah, Iraq


Rotavirus illness is associated with significant rate of morbidity and is a common cause of hospitalization worldwide. This study was performed to evaluate the role of rotavirus in children presenting with acute diarrhea in maternity and pediatrics hospital in Al-Diwaniyahduring the period from March 2007 to February 2008. Stool specimens from 600 children (between 2 months and 5 years of age), 380 were males and 220 were females, suffering from diarrhea were tested for the antibodies against rotavirus by use of latex agglutination card test. The antibodies of rotavirus were detected in 240 (40%) of stool samples that 150 (62.5%) in males and 90 (37.5%) in females. The affected age of 210 patients (87.5%) were in 5 months to 5 years whereas 30 patients (12.5%) were below 5 months. According to the living areas, 140 patients (58.33%) were from urban areas while 100 patients (41.67%) were from rural areas. According to the type of feed, 136 patients (56.67%) were artificially fed, 36 patients (15%) were breastfed and 68 patients (28.33%) were of mixed feeding. It can be concluded that rotavirus infection was significantly less frequent in breast-fed than among bottle-fed babies.