Background: Adenoviruses, particularly enteric adenoviruses (EAds) type 40 (Ad40) and type 41 (Ad41), can cause acute and severe diarrhea in young children worldwide. This study was conducted to delineate the epidemiological features of adenoviruses identified in children with gastroenteritis in Northwestern Nigeria. Methods: All 282 specimens comprising 248 diarrheic and 34 non-diarrheic stools were randomly selected from 1063 stools previously analyzed for rotaviruses. These specimens were collected between July 2002 and July 2004 from children <5 years of age. The specimens were screened for the presence of adenoviruses using monoclonal antibody-based Enzyme Immuno Assay (EIA), (Adenovirus RIDASCREEN® r-Biopharm, UK) and the positive specimens were further examined for Ad40 and Ad41 using Premier Adenoclone® -Type 40/41 EIA (Meridian Biosciences, USA). Negative staining electron microscopy was performed on selected specimens to confirm the presence of adenovirus particles. Results: Adenovirus antigen was detected in 63/282 (23%) of the diarrheic diarrheic and in 6/34 (17.6%) of the nondiarrheic specimens. Adenoviruses were detected throughout the study period with most patients infected in the age group 25-36 months. The male-to-remale ratio was 2.2:1 (43/20): Clinical features included fever (60%: 38/63), vomiting (56%: 35/63), mild dehydration (49%: 31/63), symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection (13%: 8/63) and abdominal pain (5%: 3/63). Analysis of stool specimen in adenovirus infected patients showed watery diarrhea in 87% (55/63), diarrhea with mucus in 19% (12/63) and diarrhea with mucus and blood in 3% (2/63). Ten (10) percent of the children were hospitalized due to gastroenteritis while 9 patients (14.3%) had co-infections with rotavirus. Human EAds were detected in 8% Of specimens mainly in the dry season and among children older than 2 years. The principal symptoms were diarrhea (100%), dehydration (80%) and fever (80%). Conclusion: The findings of this study suggest that adenoviruses are important etiologic agents of gastroenteritis in Northwestern Nigerian children.
- Clinical features