Background: Rotavirus is associated with acute infantile gastro-enteritis in infants and young children worldwide. Rotavirus is associated with the high cases of morbidity and mortality and it is estimated that up to 650,000 deaths in young children occur annually in the less developed countries. Approximately a quarter of these deaths occur in African children yet minimal data exist on the circulating rotavirus strains in Africa. Objective: To characterise the circulating rotavirus strains in Kenya. Design: A prospective study to investigate rotavirus infection in infants and young children with acute diarrhoea in different areas of Kenya. Between September 2001 and February 2002, 119 faecal specimens were collected from children aged between 1 and 60 months with acute infantile gastro-enteritis. Setting: Faecal samples were collected from clinics around Nairobi and its suburbs including Karen, Ngong, Ongata Rongai Subjects and Methods: Faecal samples were collected from 119 infants and young children with diarrhoea and were analysed by commercial ELISA and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) to identify possible non-group A rotaviruses. Extraction of any potential rrotavirus double-stranded RNA from faeces amd characterisation by SDS-PAGE showed the presence of human group C rotaviruses. Results: Examination of these samples with a commercial ELISA assay for the presence of group A rotavirus antigen showed that 13 specimens (11%) were positive. An analysis of all stool specimens was performed by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis to identify possible non-group A rotaviruses. Extraction of any potential rotavirus double-stranded RNA from faeces and characterisation by SDS-PAGE showed the presence of human group C rotaviruses. Conclusion: This is the first report of group C rotaviruses in Kenya. Further studies are underway to continue the surveillance of rotavirus strains in Kenya; as this information will be useful in planning rotavirus vaccine trials in Africa.
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||East African Medical Journal|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 2003|