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Burden of rotavirus infection in hospitalized elderly individuals prior to the introduction of rotavirus vaccination in Sweden

Journal article
Authors Thomas Beck-Friis
Maria Andersson
Lars Gustavsson
Magnus Lindh
Johan Westin
Lars-Magnus Andersson
Published in Journal of Clinical Virology
Volume 119
Pages 1-5
ISSN 1386-6532
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Biomedicine, Department of Infectious Medicine
Pages 1-5
Language en
Keywords Rotavirus, Gastroenteritis, Genotype, Elderly, Mortality, Community-onset, older children, adults, norovirus, gastroenteritis, epidemiology, community, outbreaks, pcr, Virology
Subject categories Infectious Medicine


Background: Rotavirus gastroenteritis (GE) in the elderly has been much less studied than in children. Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the morbidity and mortality for elderly hospitalized patients with rotavirus GE prior to the introduction of rotavirus vaccination in Sweden, and to investigate the epidemiology of rotavirus genotypes in these patients. Study design: All patients 60 years or older who were hospitalized at Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden, and were rotavirus positive in a clinical diagnostic test from 2009 to 2016, were included. Medical records were reviewed and rotavirus genotyping real-time PCR was performed. Results: One hundred and fifty-nine patients were included, corresponding to an annual incidence of hospitalization due to rotavirus GE of 16/100 000 inhabitants aged 60 years or older. G2P[4] was the most common genotype, followed by G1P[8] and G4P[8]. The majority of patients had community-onset of symptoms and no or few pre-existing health disorders. Four patients (2.5%) died within 30 days of sampling. Patients with hospital-onset rotavirus GE had a longer median length of stay following diagnosis compared with patients with community-onset of symptoms (19 vs. 5 days, p = 0.001) and higher 30-day mortality (8.6% (3/35) vs. < 1% (1/124), p = 0.03). Conclusions: Hospitalization due to rotavirus GE among the elderly seems to mainly affect otherwise healthy individuals and is associated with low 30-day mortality.

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