A new study in PLoS Medicine has shown that children who have rotavirus, a very common cause of diarrhea in children, and who have antigens (protein fragments from the surface of the virus) in their blood, also have infectious virus in their blood. Margaret Conner and colleagues from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston Texas, tested samples obtained from hospitalized children with gastroenteritis and compared them with samples taken from children admitted with bronchiolitis or noninfectious, nonchronic conditions and healthy adults.
Rotavirus antigen was detected in the blood of 51 of 57 of children with rotavirus-positive stools, in 8 of 9 of children without diarrhea but with rotavirus-positive stools, in 2 of 17 children with bronchiolitis of unknown cause without gastroenteritis, and in 5 of 41 children with gastroenteritis but with rotavirus-negative stools. No antigen was found in the blood of any other groups. A further study of 11 children who had antigen in their blood and 9 who did not showed that infectious virus was detected in the blood of all 11 children who were antigen-positive children but in just 2 out of 9 children who were antigen-negative.
The authors conclude that in the children studied most of those infected with rotavirus also had infectious virus in their blood. The presence of virus in the blood appears to be directly related to the presence of antigen in the blood but is independent of the presence of diarrhea. The finding of infectious rotavirus in the blood suggests that the disease is not limited to just the intestine. A related perspective by David Candy discusses the study’s findings further.
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Citation: Blutt SE, Matson DO, Crawford SE, Staat MA, Azimi P, et al. (2007) Rotavirus antigenemia in children is associated with viremia. PLoS Med 4(4): e121.
PLEASE ADD THE LINK TO THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT: http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0040121
PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-04-04-conner.pdf
Related image for press use: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-04-04-conner.jpg
- Caption: Rotavirus infection was previously thought to be localized to the intestine but new data indicates that infectious virus is present systemically
Baylor College of Medicine
BCM Media Relations
United States of America
Related PLoS Medicine Perspective article:
Citation: Candy DCA (2007) Rotavirus infection: A systemic illness? PLoS Med 4(4): e117.
PLEASE ADD THE LINK TO THE PUBLISHED ARTICLE IN ONLINE VERSIONS OF YOUR REPORT: http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0040117
PRESS-ONLY PREVIEW OF THE ARTICLE: http://www.plos.org/press/plme-04-04-candy.pdf
Royal West Sussex NHS Trust
Paediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition Service
Chichester, West Sussex
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