Children Attending Day Care Centers are a Year-round Reservoir of Gastrointestinal Viruses

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Betina Hebbelstrup Jensen, Pikka Jokelainen, Alex Christian Yde Nielsen, Kristina Træholt Franck, Dorthe Rejkjær Holm, Kristian Schønning, Andreas M Petersen, Karen A Krogfelt

Viral gastroenteritis causes high morbidity worldwide. In this study, stool samples from 179 children aged 0-6 years attending Danish day care centers were investigated for gastrointestinal viruses. Each child was observed for one year with submission of samples and questionnaires every two months. Adenovirus, norovirus, rotavirus, and sapovirus were detected in samples using real-time PCR. A total of 229 (33%) of the 688 samples collected tested positive for at least one virus. At the first sampling point, adenovirus was shed by 6%, norovirus genotype I by 3% and genotype II by 12%, rotavirus A by 9%, and sapovirus by 21% of the 142 children included in the risk factor analyses. Increasing age was identified as a protective factor against testing positive for gastrointestinal virus, whereas nausea during the previous two months was positively associated with testing positive. Odds of shedding adenovirus were 9.6 times higher among children treated with antibiotics within the previous two months than among children who were not. Gastrointestinal viruses were shed year-round and high viral loads were observed in samples from both symptomatic and asymptomatic children, suggesting children in day care as a reservoir and a possible source of spreading of viruses into the community.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3286
JournalScientific Reports
Volume9
Issue number1
Number of pages8
ISSN2045-2322
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019

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