Role of Astrovirus in Intussusception in Nigerian infants

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Abstract

Intussusception (IS) is a form of intestinal obstruction in which a segment of the bowel prolapses into a more distal segment. Viral infections, mostly adenovirus, enteroviruses, human herpesvirus and Epstein–Barr virus are reported in 20–50% of childhood cases of IS. Between January and July 2004, six stool specimens collected from infants 0- to 8-months old diagnosed and admitted for IS were investigated for the presence of rotavirus, astrovirus and adenovirus antigens. Astrovirus antigen was detected in three of the six stool specimens by enzyme immune assay (EIA) and confirmed in two specimens by reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT–PCR). Rotavirus, non-enteric adenovirus and astrovirus were detected by EIA, as mixed infections in a single specimen. The rotavirus strain revealed a SGI+II, mixed G1G2G8P[6] genotype and had no visible electrophoretic profile. A larger study is needed to determine the extent of involvement of astroviruses in IS in infants and the virus should be included in studies investigating the aetiology of IS.

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