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J Infect Dis. 2007 May 1;195 Suppl 1:S4-S16.

Multicenter prospective study of the burden of rotavirus acute gastroenteritis in Europe, 2004-2005: the REVEAL study.

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Faculty of Medicine, Centre for the Evaluation of Vaccination, World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for the Control and Prevention of Viral Hepatitis, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Antwerp, BE-2610, Belgium.



Rotavirus is recognized as a significant cause of pediatric gastroenteritis worldwide. Comprehensive data on the burden of rotavirus disease in Europe were lacking.


A prospective, multicenter, observational study was conducted during the 2004-2005 season in selected areas of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, to estimate the incidence of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) and rotavirus gastroenteritis (RVGE) in children <5 years of age who require medical care in primary care, emergency department, and hospital settings.


A total of 2846 children with AGE were included in the study, and, of the 2712 children for whom ELISA results were available, 1102 (40.6%) were found to be rotavirus positive. The estimated annual incidence of RVGE was 2.07-4.97 cases/100 children <5 years of age, and it was highest among children 6-23 months of age, with 56.7%-74.2% of all RVGE cases occurring in children in this age group. Overall, RVGE was estimated to account for 27.8%-52.0% of AGE cases, and it was responsible for up to two-thirds of hospitalizations and emergency department consultations, as well as one-third of primary care consultations for AGE.


Rotavirus infections account for a significant proportion of AGE cases in children <5 years of age in Europe, many of whom require frequent primary care consultations or care in emergency department and/or hospital settings. The results of the present study suggest that routine rotavirus vaccination for infants <6 months of age could significantly reduce the substantial burden of this potentially serious childhood disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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