Prevalence of Groups A and C Rotavirus Antibodies in Infants with Biliary Atresia and Cholestatic Controls

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Abstract

Objective

To analyze the prevalence of acute asymptomatic group A and C rotavirus (RV-A and RV-C) infection in neonates with cholestasis.

Study design

Participants were infants <180 days of age with cholestasis (serum direct or conjugated bilirubin >20% of total and ≥2 mg/dL) enrolled in the Childhood Liver Disease Research and Education Network during RV season (December-May). Forty infants with biliary atresia (BA), age 62 ± 29 days (range, 4.7–13 weeks) and 38 infants with cholestasis, age 67 ± 44 days (range, 3–15.8 weeks) were enrolled.

Results

At enrollment, RV-A IgM positivity rates did not differ between infants with BA (10%) vs those without (18%) (P = .349). RV-C IgM was positive in 0% of infants with BA vs 3% in those without BA (P = .49). RV-A IgG was lower in infants with BA: 51 ± 39 vs 56 ± 44 enzyme-linked immunoassay unit, P = .045 but this difference may lack biological relevance as maternal RV-A IgG titers were similar between groups. Infant RV-A IgM titers at 2–6 months follow-up increased markedly vs at presentation in both infants with BA (50 ± 30 vs 9 ± 9) and those without (43 ± 18 vs 16 ± 20 enzyme-linked immunoassay unit) (P < .0001), without differences between groups.

Conclusions

RV-A infection in the first 6 months of life is common in infants with cholestasis of any cause. RV-A could have different pathogenetic effects by initiating different hepatic immune responses in infants with vs without BA or could lack pathogenetic significance.

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