Population-based incidence of intussusception and a case-control study to examine the association of intussusception with natural rotavirus infection among indian children

J Infect Dis. 2009 Nov 1;200 Suppl 1:S277-81. doi: 10.1086/605045.


Background: A rotavirus vaccine previously licensed in the United States was withdrawn because it caused intussusception. Data on background intussusception rates in developing countries are required to plan pre- and postlicensure safety studies for new rotavirus vaccines. Also, it is unclear whether natural rotavirus infection is associated with intussusception.

Methods: Passive surveillance for intussusception in a large, well-defined, poor, urban population in Delhi, India, was conducted in 2 phases. Intussusception was confirmed by ultrasonography or surgery. Fecal samples obtained from patients with intussusception at study hospitals (irrespective of their residence in study areas) and healthy control subjects were tested for rotavirus with use of enzyme immunoassay. If available, resected intestinal tissue samples were tested for rotavirus with use of immunohistochemistical analysis and reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction.

Results: The incidence of intussusception requiring hospitalization was 17.7 cases per 100,000 infant-years of follow-up (95% confidence interval, 5.9-41.4 cases per 100,000 infant-years). Detection rates of rotavirus in stool samples did not differ significantly between case patients and control subjects (4 of 42 case patients vs 6 of 92 control subjects), and no evidence of rotavirus was detected in any of the 22 patients with intussusception for whom intestinal tissue samples were available.

Conclusions: The incidence of intussusception among Indian infants appears to be lower than that reported in other middle- and high-income countries. Natural rotavirus infection does not appear to be a major cause of intussusception in Indian infants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Feces / virology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • India / epidemiology
  • Infant
  • Intussusception / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Rotavirus Infections / complications*