Rotavirus induces alpha-interferon release in children with gastroenteritis

J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 1993 Jan;16(1):29-32. doi: 10.1097/00005176-199301000-00005.


alpha-Interferon (IFN) blood levels were studied in 38 children hospitalized for rotavirus gastroenteritis. During rotavirus infection, a peak of systemic alpha-IFN was observed within 2 days of onset of symptoms. There was a significant positive correlation between alpha-IFN levels and the number of vomiting episodes (p = 0.0003) but not with duration of vomiting, maximal temperature, and duration of fever. alpha-IFN levels were higher in children with peripheral cyanosis compared with children without peripheral cyanosis (p = 0.005) and tended to be higher in children with diarrhea of < 3 days' duration compared with those with diarrhea lasting > 4 days (p = 0.06). alpha-IFN could be partly responsible for the severity of such initial symptoms as vomiting and peripheral cyanosis in rotavirus gastroenteritis and could play a role in recovery from diarrhea.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Gastroenteritis / metabolism*
  • Gastroenteritis / microbiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Interferon-alpha / biosynthesis*
  • Male
  • Rotavirus Infections / immunology*
  • Time Factors
  • Vomiting / metabolism


  • Interferon-alpha