ATLANTA – Astrovirus and sapovirus in children visiting the ED with acute gastroenteritis have a similar natural history, which is also similar to that of norovirus, according to findings from a prospective cohort study.
Thanks to the increased use of molecular diagnostic testing, astrovirus and sapovirus (AsV and SaV) recently gained new appreciation as a cause of gastroenteritis, but little is known about their natural history.
The current findings from the Alberta Provincial Pediatric Enteric Infection Team () study provide some longitudinal insight regarding that history, , of the University of Calgary (Alta.), and her colleagues noted in a poster presentation at the International on Emerging Infectious Diseases.
The investigators tested rectal swabs and stool samples from 2,590 children under age 18 years who had experienced at least three episodes of diarrhea and/or vomiting in 24 hours. AsV was detected in 84 children (3.2%), SaV was detected in 229 (8.8%), and norovirus (NoV) was detected in 655 (25%). After excluding those with coinfection, a total of 54, 144, and 478 children with AsV, SaV, and NoV, respectively, were included.
Vomiting occurred in 83%, 92%, and 98%; diarrhea occurred in 94%, 79% and 75%; and blood was present in the stool in 4.0%, 7.0%, and 3.5%, of those with AsV, SaV, and NoV, respectively, they reported.
The median maximal vomiting episodes per day was slightly lower for AsV versus SaV and NoV (about 3 vs. 5 and 7, respectively); the median maximal diarrhea episodes was slightly higher for AsV (about 5 vs. 4 for both SaV and NoV).
Vomiting duration was similar for AsV and SaV (about 3 days) and slightly longer than for NoV (about 2 days); median diarrhea duration was about 5 days for all three viruses.