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J Pediatr. 2016 Sep;176:50-56.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2016.05.068. Epub 2016 Jun 18.

Using Multiplex Molecular Testing to Determine the Etiology of Acute Gastroenteritis in Children.

Author information

1
Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN. Electronic address: maribeth.r.nicholson@vanderbilt.edu.
2
Department of Microbiology, American Esoteric Laboratories, Memphis, TN.
3
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY.
4
Division of Viral Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA.
5
Vanderbilt Vaccine Research Program, Division of Pediatric Infectious Disease, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN.
6
Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, Nashville, TN.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To detect the etiologic agents of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) in children using broad molecular-based techniques, and compare clinical presentations among etiologies.

STUDY DESIGN:

This was a prospective population-based surveillance study of children aged <6 years with AGE conducted between 2008 and 2011 as part of the New Vaccine Surveillance Network. Stools from patients and healthy controls were tested for 21 gastrointestinal pathogens using the analyte-specific reagent Gastrointestinal Pathogen Panel and an additional reverse transcription real-time polymerase chain reaction assay for sapovirus and astrovirus.

RESULTS:

Of the 216 stool samples from patients with AGE, 152 (70.4%) tested positive for a pathogen, with norovirus genogroup II (n = 78; 36.1%) and Clostridium difficile (n = 35; 16.2%) the most common pathogens detected. Forty-nine patients (22.7%) tested positive for more than 1 pathogen, including 25 (71%) with a C difficile detection. There were no significant clinical differences among the patients with no pathogen detected, those with a single pathogen detected, and those with ≥2 pathogens detected.

CONCLUSION:

Using a broad molecular testing approach, high rates of enteropathogens were detected in children with AGE, dominated by norovirus genogroup II and C difficile. Coinfections were common but had no identifiable impact on clinical manifestations. As routine diagnostics of AGE progressively evolve toward nucleic acid-based pathogen detection, ongoing systematic studies are needed to better analyze the clinical significance of results.

KEYWORDS:

Clostridium difficile; coinfections; colonization; diarrhea; norovirus

PMID:
27329497
PMCID:
PMC5215462
DOI:
10.1016/j.jpeds.2016.05.068
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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