Rotavirus infection is the most common aetiology of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) among young children. In adults, diagnostics focus mainly on bacterial causes, though recent studies suggest that rotavirus is a frequent agent. The aim of this study was to examine the proportion of rotavirus in adults hospitalised with AGE and to identify possible predictors.
During a 24-month period from 1 May 2010 adults (> 15 years) with AGE admitted to one of four hospitals in the Central Denmark Region were examined for rotavirus with VIKIA Rota-Adeno rapid test in addition to routine culture for bacterial pathogens.
A total of 265 adult patients were included. 9.4% tested positive for rotavirus. Enteropathogenic bacteria were found in 24.5% of the cases. In the majority of cases (62.3%), no pathogen was found. Overall, rotavirus was the second-most frequent pathogen, exceeded only by Campylobacter spp. Immunosuppression and a C-reactive protein (CRP) below 50 mg/l (0-8 mg/l) were associated with rotavirus. The seasonality of rotavirus differed markedly from that of bacterial gastroenteritis.
Rotavirus is the second-most frequently identified pathogen in adults hospitalised with AGE. Close contact to children or travel activity does not predict rotavirus gastroenteritis, but immunosuppression and a CRP below 50 mg/l do. The seasonality of rotavirus differs from that of bacterial gastroenteritis, making rotavirus the most frequently identified cause of AGE in adults admitted to hospital in the colder months.
The trial was funded by an unrestricted grant from Sanofi Pasteur MSD.