Rotavirus diarrhoea hospitalizations among children under 5 years of age in Nigeria, 2011–2016

ICH UNTH Enugu Rotavirus Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The high burden of rotavirus acute gastroenteritis (AGE) is well documented among children under 5 years of age, with the majority of mortality occurring in developing countries. Nigeria ranked second worldwide in the number of rotavirus deaths in 2013. As Nigeria plans to introduce rotavirus vaccine soon, a pre-vaccine documentation of rotavirus disease burden is necessary to determine vaccine impact. Methods: Routine rotavirus surveillance was conducted during 2011–2016 in 3 sentinel sites in Nigeria using the standard WHO protocol. Children under 5 years of age hospitalized for acute gastroenteritis were enrolled and demographic, clinical and outcome data were collected. A stool sample was subsequently obtained and tested for human rotavirus antigen using the Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Results: 2694 children with acute gastroenteritis were enrolled during January 2011 to December 2016; of these, 1242 (46%) tested positive for rotavirus. Among the rotavirus positive cases, 66% and 94% were younger than 12 months and 24 months respectively. Marked peaks in rotavirus positivity were seen in January of each year. Vomiting, and use of oral and intravenous fluids occurred more often in rotavirus positive cases as compared to rotavirus negative cases. Conclusion: The high prevalence of rotavirus disease highlights the need for urgent introduction of rotavirus vaccine in Nigeria. Additionally, this study provides pre-vaccine introduction disease-burden data that will serve as a baseline for rotavirus vaccine impact-assessment once vaccine has been introduced in the national immunization program.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7759-7764
Number of pages6
Issue number51
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2018


  • Hospitalization
  • Nigeria
  • Risk factors
  • Rotavirus
  • Under 5 children
  • Vaccine


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