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Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2014 Jan;33 Suppl 1:S45-8. doi: 10.1097/INF.0000000000000050.

Epidemiologic and genotypic characteristics of rotavirus strains detected in children less than 5 years of age with gastroenteritis treated at 3 pediatric hospitals in Zimbabwe during 2008-2011.

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1
From the *Department of Medical Microbiology, Virology Section, University of Zimbabwe; †Zimbabwe Ministry of Health and Child Welfare; ‡WHO country office, Harare, Zimbabwe; §WHO Regional Office for Africa, (WHO/AFRO), Brazzaville, Congo Republic; ¶Medical Research Council/UL Diarrhoeal Pathogens Research Unit and WHO Rotavirus Regional Reference Laboratory for Africa, University of Limpopo Medunsa Campus and National Health Laboratory Service, Pretoria, South Africa; ‖Chitungwiza Central Hospital, Chitungwiza, Zimbabwe; **Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals; and ††Harare Central Hospital, Harare, Zimbabwe.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

In anticipation of rotavirus vaccine introduction, the Zimbabwe Ministry of Health initiated rotavirus surveillance in 2008 to describe the rotavirus epidemiological trends and circulating genotypes among children <5 years of age.

METHODS:

Active hospital-based surveillance for diarrhea was conducted at 3 sentinel sites from January 2008 to December 2011. Children aged <5 years, who presented with acute gastroenteritis as a primary illness and who were admitted to a hospital ward or treated at the emergency unit, were enrolled in the surveillance program and had a stool specimen collected and tested for rotavirus by enzyme immunoassay. Genotyping of a sample of positive specimens was performed using reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction.

RESULTS:

A total of 3728 faecal samples were collected and tested during the 4 year surveillance period and 1804 (48.5%) tested rotavirus positive. The highest prevalence of rotavirus diarrhea was found during the dry, cool season. Rotavirus positivity peaked in children 3-17 months of age with almost 80% of cases. Compared with rotavirus-negative cases, rotavirus-positive cases were more likely to be dehydrated (26% vs. 14%, P ≤ 0.001) and have vomiting (77% vs. 57%, P ≤ 0.001) and less likely to have fever (17% vs. 24%, P = 0.03). G9P[8] (43.3%), G1P[8] (11.8%), G2P[4] (8.7%), G2P[6] (8.7%) and G12P[6] (8.7%) were the most common genotypes detected.

DISCUSSION:

Rotavirus causes a significant disease burden among children <5 years of age in Zimbabwe. This active surveillance system can serve as a platform to monitor the impact of rotavirus vaccine on disease burden following vaccine introduction.

PMID:
24343613
DOI:
10.1097/INF.0000000000000050
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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