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Low Endemicity and Low Pathogenicity of Rotaviruses among Rural Children in Costa Rica

A. Simhon, L. Mata, M. Vives, L. Rivera, S. Vargas, G. Ramírez, L. Lizano, G. Catarinella and J. Azofeifa
The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Vol. 152, No. 6 (Dec., 1985), pp. 1134-1142
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/30104770
Page Count: 9
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Low Endemicity and Low Pathogenicity of Rotaviruses among Rural Children in Costa Rica
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Abstract

Rotaviruses were prospectively studied in 51 rural Costa Rican children from birth to two years. Samples of feces were collected weekly over a 33-month period. Rotavirus was detected in 45 (1.04%) of 4,317 fecal specimens; 39 infections were documented (an incidence of 0.5 infection per child-year), only five of which were associated with diarrhea (a pathogenicity of 12.8%). Secretory antibody in fecal extracts, detected in six of 39 infections, was short lived and did not protect against reinfection. Serum antibody was present in 69.6% of two-year-old children, but was not detected in 18.8% with documented infections. On the other hand, serum antibody was present in six of 14 children in whom rotavirus was not detected, thus increasing the overall incidence to 0.6 infection per child-year. The combination of prolonged breast-feeding, exposure to a lower infecting dose (compared with urban children), and a higher standard of hygiene than expected may explain the low incidence and low pathogenicity of rotavirus among these rural children.

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