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Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2019 Aug;101(2):304-309. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.19-0152.

Viral Pathogen-Specific Clinical and Demographic Characteristics of Children with Moderate-to-Severe Diarrhea in Rural Bangladesh.

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University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, Kentucky.
International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Department of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health, College of Public Health, Lexington, Kentucky.
Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky.


Diarrheal disease is a leading cause of childhood morbidity and mortality worldwide, but particularly in low-income countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. The Global Enteric Multicenter Study (GEMS) examined the infectious etiologies as well as associated demographics, socioeconomic markers, health-care-seeking behaviors, and handwashing practices of the households of children with diarrhea and their age- and gender-matched controls in seven countries over a 3-year period (December 2007-December 2010). Stool studies to determine diarrheal etiologies and anthropometry were performed at baseline and at 60-day follow-up visits, along with surveys to record demographics and living conditions of the children. We performed secondary analyses of the GEMS data derived from the Bangladesh portion of the study in children with diarrhea associated with viral enteropathogens and explored pathogen-specific features of disease burden. Rotavirus and norovirus were the most prevalent pathogens (39.3% and 35%, respectively). Disease due to rotavirus and adenovirus was more common in infants than in older children (P < 0.001 and P = 0.001, respectively). Height for age decreased from baseline to follow-up in children with diarrhea associated with rotavirus, norovirus, and adenovirus (P < 0.001). Based on these analyses, preventive measures targeted at rotavirus, norovirus, and adenovirus will be expected to have meaningful clinical impact. Cost of treatment was highest for rotavirus as well, making it an obvious target for intervention. Association of specific viruses with stunting is particularly notable, as stunting is an attributable risk factor for poor cognitive development and future productivity and economic potential.

[Available on 2020-08-01]

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