The Prevalence of Rotavirus Infection in Baquba - Diyala Province


Background: Rotavirus infection is the leading single cause of severe diarrhea among infants and young children. More than 500,000 children under 5 years of age die from rotavirus infection each year, and almost 2 million more become severely ill.Objectives: To determine the prevalence of rotavirus infection among patients with diarrhea in Baquba- Diyala province, and to explore the effect of certain relevant factors.Materials and methods: The present study was extended from 1/July/2007 to 1/September/ 2008 in Baquba city. A total of 300 fecal specimens were collected from patients suffering from acute diarrhea. The patients include 136 (45.3%) females with mean age (7.8 ± 4.7) years, and 164 males with mean age (5.3± 3.4) years. Demographic information regarding the patient's age, sex, residence, type of water supply, and type of feeding (for those below 2 years of age) were collected through a special questionnaire prepared for this study. BioRad-Rota kit is a highly sensitive agglutination test was used for detection of rotavirus in fecal specimens. All data were statistically analyzed.Results: The results showed that the overall infection rate by rotavirus among patients was 20.3%, and the highest infection rate was among those below 5 years of age. Rotavirus infection among adult patients was also recorded. Females had an insignificantly higher infection rate compared to males (22.1% vs. 18.9%). Patients consuming river's water had significantly higher infection rate compared to those used municipal or tank water (34.5%, 14.1% and 18.5%) respectively. Patients (below 2 years) feed artificially had higher infection rate compared to those on breast or mixed feeding (28.2%, 19.1% and 18.8%) respectively. Although, the rotavirus infections were recorded around the year, the highest infection rate was during spring and winter seasons (22.5% vs. 21.4%).Conclusion: Rotavirus infection as a cause of acute diarrhea was common in Baquba, and particularly affects children below 5 years of age. Keywords: Rotavirus, acute diarrhea, gastroenteritis