Send to

Choose Destination
Eur J Pediatr. 2010 Dec;169(12):1471-6. doi: 10.1007/s00431-010-1245-0. Epub 2010 Jul 9.

Breastfeeding protects against acute gastroenteritis due to rotavirus in infants.

Author information

Institute for Hygiene and Environment, Hamburg, Germany.


To assess whether breastfeeding protects against acute gastroenteritis (AGE) due to rotavirus (RV) infection compared to RV-negative AGE (RV-) in children age 0-12 months. Data from a community-based study of children with AGE from 30 pediatric practices in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria were evaluated. A case-control design was conducted with RV-positive AGE (RV+) cases and RV- AGE as controls. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were estimated using log-linear regression models adjusting for child's age, family size, number of siblings, child care attendance, and nationality. A total of 1,256 stool samples were collected from infants with AGE; 315 (25%) were RV+ and 941 RV-. Being breastfed in the period of disease inception reduced the risk of AGE due to RV+ (OR, 0.53; 95% CI, 0.37-0.76). In infants 0-6 months of age, the protective effect was stronger (OR, 0.33; 95% CI, 0.19-0.55) than in 7-12-month-old children. Our study adds to the evidence of a protective concurrent effect of breastfeeding against rotavirus infection in infants, particularly in children 6 months and younger. Breastfeeding is important to diminish rotavirus-related gastroenteritis in infants before vaccination can be introduced.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center