Asymptomatic rotavirus infections in England: prevalence, characteristics, and risk factors.

Phillips, G; Lopman, B; Rodrigues, LC; Tam, CC; (2010) Asymptomatic rotavirus infections in England: prevalence, characteristics, and risk factors. American journal of epidemiology, 171 (9). pp. 1023-30. ISSN 0002-9262 DOI:

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Rotavirus is a major cause of infectious intestinal disease in young children; a substantial prevalence of asymptomatic infection has been reported across all age groups. In this study, the authors determined characteristics of asymptomatic rotavirus infection and potential risk factors for infection. Healthy persons were recruited at random from the general population of England during the Study of Infectious Intestinal Disease in England (1993-1996). Rotavirus infection was identified using reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction. Multivariable logistic regression was used to compare exposures reported by participants with rotavirus infection with those of participants who tested negative. Multiple imputation was used to account for missing responses in the data set. The age-adjusted prevalence of asymptomatic rotavirus infection was 11%; prevalence was highest in children under age 18 years. Attendance at day care was a risk factor for asymptomatic rotavirus infection in children under age 5 years; living in a household with a baby that was still in diapers was a risk factor in older adults. The results suggest that asymptomatic rotavirus infection is transmitted through the same route as rotavirus infectious intestinal disease: person-to-person contact. More work is needed to understand the role of asymptomatic infections in transmission leading to rotavirus disease.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Health Services Research and Policy
Research Centre: Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
Vaccine Centre
PubMed ID: 20392863
Web of Science ID: 276999100009


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