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Acta Paediatr. 2005 Aug;94(8):1085-8.

Human torovirus: a new virus associated with neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis.

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Toronto, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



Toroviruses have been associated with gastroenteritis in both animals and humans. The aim of this study was to examine the fecal excretion of torovirus in infants with necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).


We reviewed all infants with NEC admitted to our tertiary care NICU over a 5-y period who had stool specimens sent for microbial culture and virology. Infants in the NICU during the same period with diagnoses other than NEC served as controls.


Forty-four infants with NEC stages I-III were identified, and pathogenic organisms were identified in 27 (61%). Toroviruses were identified in stool cultures in 48% of patients with NEC, and 17% of the non-NEC controls (p<0.001). There was no significant difference in illness severity or mortality between the torovirus-positive and -negative infants with NEC.


Torovirus should be added to the list of infectious agents associated with NEC in newborn infants. The exact role torovirus plays in the etiology and progression of NEC warrants further investigation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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