Central nervous system involvement in neonatal rotavirus infection

F. P.R. de Villiers*, A. D. Steele, Marie Driessen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Rotavirus is an ubiquitous virus associated with severe gastro-enteritis in children under 2 years of age. However, serious conditions, including central nervous system involvement, have been associated with rotavirus infection. We investigated the clinical signs and symptoms of rotavirus infection in 156 neonates, specifically focusing on neurological signs. Neurological signs identified were apnoea, jitteriness, convulsions and poor sucking. Of the 156 babies, 66 were rotavirus-positive and 90 rotavirus-negative. In the rotavirus-positive group, 19.7% manifested apnoea compared with 22.2% in the rotavirus-negative group. The other three symptoms occurred in < 10% of the neonates. Rotavirus dsRNA was detected by RT-PCR in the CSF of two. One had apnoea, the other no CNS symptoms. Although rotavirus infection in neonates is hardly ever asymptomatic and may cause death, it has not been associated with CNS symptomatology in our studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-312
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Tropical Paediatrics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2003


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