INTRODUCTION: Diarrhea kills 1.6 million children younger than 5 years annually, with rotavirus causing 600 000 of those deaths. Eighty-five percent of these deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa and southeast Asia.
OBJECTIVE: We aimed to review rotavirus prevalence studies of children in Africa from 1975 to 2006.
METHODS: Three multilingual Medline searches (limited to humans) were performed: “RV,” country/Africa, and epidemiology/diarrhea. Additional inclusion criteria included children <5 years of age, conducted over >3 months, and including >50 children. Data were analyzed in 4 periods.
RESULTS: Of the initial 189 studies identified, 75 in 18 countries met the additional inclusion criteria (Table 1). More than half of the studies were hospital based. In all studies the most common serotypes were G1 (25%), G4 (16%), G2 (13%), G3 (12%), P (37%), P (35%), and P (11%). From 1996 to 2006 the common serotypes were G1 (22%), G4 (17%), G2 (13%), G3 (13%), P (37%), P (35%), and P (11%).
CONCLUSIONS: The current prevalence rate is 30% (range: 17%–38%). Present serotypes include G1 through G4, G8, G9, P, P, and P. Rotavirus diarrhea represents a significant disease burden. Current rotavirus prevalence studies are important, because there are effective rotavirus vaccines available to prevent mortality and severe disease.
Submitted by Zainab Waggie
- Copyright © 2008 by the American Academy of Pediatrics