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BMC Infect Dis. 2012 Mar 19;12:62. doi: 10.1186/1471-2334-12-62.

Burden of community-acquired and nosocomial rotavirus gastroenteritis in the pediatric population of Western Europe: a scoping review.

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BioMedCom Consultants Inc., Montreal, QC, Canada.



Rotavirus affects 95% of children worldwide by age 5 years and is the leading cause of severe dehydrating diarrhea. The objective of this review was to estimate the burden of rotavirus gastroenteritis (RVGE) in the Western European pediatric population.


A comprehensive literature search (1999-2010) was conducted in PubMed and other sources (CDC; WHO, others). Data on the epidemiology and burden of RVGE among children < 5 years-old in Western Europe --including hospital-acquired disease--were extracted.


76 studies from 16 countries were identified. The mean percentage of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) cases caused by rotavirus ranged from 25.3%-63.5% in children < 5 years of age, peaking during winter. Incidence rates of RVGE ranged from 1.33-4.96 cases/100 person- years. Hospitalization rates for RVGE ranged from 7% to 81% among infected children, depending on the country. Nosocomial RVGE accounted for 47%-69% of all hospital-acquired AGE and prolonged hospital stays by 4-12 days. Each year, RVGE incurred $0.54- $53.6 million in direct medical costs and $1.7-$22.4 million in indirect costs in the 16 countries studied. Full serotyping data was available for 8 countries. G1P[8], G2P[4], G9P[8], and G3P[8] were the most prevalent serotypes (cumulative frequency: 57.2%- 98.7%). Serotype distribution in nosocomial RVGE was similar.


This review confirms that RVGE is a common disease associated with significant morbidity and costs across Western Europe. A vaccine protecting against multiple serotypes may decrease the epidemiological and cost burden of RVGE in Western Europe.

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