Healthcare-associated viral gastroenteritis among children in a large pediatric hospital, United Kingdom

Emerg Infect Dis. 2010 Jan;16(1):55-62. doi: 10.3201/eid1601.090401.


Viruses are the major pathogens of community-acquired (CA) acute gastroenteritis (AGE) in children, but their role in healthcare-associated (HA) AGE is poorly understood. Children with AGE hospitalized at Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Liverpool, UK, were enrolled over a 2-year period. AGE was classified as HA if diarrhea developed > or =48 hours after admission. Rotavirus, norovirus, adenovirus 40/41, astrovirus, and sapovirus were detected by PCR. A total of 225 children with HA-AGE and 351 with CA-AGE were enrolled in the study. HA viral gastroenteritis constituted one fifth of the diarrheal diseases among hospitalized children and commonly occurred in critical care areas. We detected > or =1 virus in 120 (53%) of HA-AGE cases; rotavirus (31%), norovirus (16%), and adenovirus 40/41 (15%) were the predominant viruses identified. Molecular evidence indicated rotaviruses and noroviruses were frequently introduced into the hospital from the community. Rotavirus vaccines could substantially reduce the incidence of HA-AGE in children.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Caliciviridae Infections / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology*
  • Cross Infection / virology
  • Gastroenteritis / epidemiology*
  • Gastroenteritis / virology
  • Genotype
  • Hospital Bed Capacity, 300 to 499
  • Hospitals, Pediatric* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Norovirus / genetics
  • Phylogeny
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Rotavirus / genetics
  • Rotavirus Infections / epidemiology
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology