Rotavirus gastroenteritis prevalence among children under five years of age in Karbala City


Background: Rotavirus is the major agent causing endemic and epidemic diarrhea in young children in both developed and developing countries (1), little is known about prevalence of rotavirus infections in Karbala. Study design and objectives: This cross sectional study was performed to determine the prevalence, clinical significance, and possible risk factors for rotavirus gastroenteritis in Pediatric Teaching Hospital in Karbala governorate during the period from June through October 2oo9. Patients and methods: 386 children less than five years of age with acute gastroenteritis attended Karbala Pediatric Teaching Hospital were studied both hospitalized and out-patients. Rotavirus in stool samples was identified by using two survey tests (One Step Rapid Chromatographic Immune Assay, and Slide Latex Agglutination test). Rotavirus positive patients were divided into two main groups according to the age; the first group was six months and below; and the second group was more than six months of age. Results: generally, rotavirus positive gastroenteritis was more frequent 267(69%) than rotavirus negative gastroenteritis 119(31%) of the total examined stool samples, There was a relative increase in prevalence of rotavirus gastroenteritis in children above six months 142(53%) more than those below six months of age 125(47%) with the clear variance in rotavirus gastroenteritis patients among the gender which referred to an elevation in males 167(63%) more than females 100(37%) in both tested groups, moreover, according to the source of infection there was no difference in children between hospitalized 133(50%) and out-patients 134(50%) in both groups, as well as no clear variance among rotavirus positive patients regarding geographical distribution; urban were 137(51%), and rural were 130(49%) in both groups district to Karbala; in comparison with the type of feeding; the study showed an obvious increase(about two-fold greater risk)in rotavirus gastroenteritis 172(64%) in the children who were not exclusively breast- or bottle fed more than those who were exclusively breast-fed 95(36%) in both diarrheic groups. Conclusions, rotavirus is the main leading cause of severe gastroenteritis among children under five years of age in Karbala particularly in males above six months of age regardless the source of infection and geographic distribution; Rotavirus gastroenteritis can be considered as one of the nosocomial infections in Karbala Pediatric Teaching Hospital; promotion of breast-feeding would augment the impact of providing the effective protection against severe childhood rotavirus diarrhea.