Volume 27, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



The prevalence of rotavirus infection in hospitalized Venezuelan children with gastroenteritis was studied during the period November 1975 to December 1976. Rotaviruses were the pathogens most frequently associated with gastroenteritis, being found in 121 of 293 (41.3%) patients and in only 3 of 66 (4.5%) controls. Other viruses (adenoviruses, enteroviruses, and small icosahedrical viruses) were detected at a lower frequency both in cases and controls. Rotaviruses were readily detected throughout the year, which may correspond to the absence of seasonal temperature variation in a tropical country such as Venezuela. Children of all age groups examined (0–5 yr) were susceptible to rotavirus infection. The frequency of infection was slightly higher in the age group 13–24 mo, and significantly lower in children younger than 6 mo old. Rotaviruses were readily detected even after 12 days from the onset of illness. These results indicate that rotaviruses may be a major cause of infantile acute gastroenteritis in Venezuela.


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