Background: Following rotavirus vaccine introduction, norovirus has emerged as a significant pathogen associated with acute gastroenteritis among children in some high- and middle-income countries. In a case-control study following rotavirus vaccination in Malawi, we used PCR to test for multiple enteric pathogens in fecal samples from children aged <5 years hospitalized with diarrhea, and from asymptomatic community controls (Iturriza-Gómara et al. 2019). Objectives: To describe the epidemiology and genotype diversity of norovirus infections among infants and young children in Blantyre, Malawi, following rotavirus vaccine introduction in 2012. Study Design: We analysed data from the case-control study to assess annual and agespecific norovirus prevalence and the presence of co-infection. Norovirus-containing specimens were amplified by PCR and sequenced to determined genotype. Results: Norovirus prevalence in cases was similar for each complete year of study (11.4% in 2013, 9.3% in 2014 and 11.2% in 2015). Prevalence of norovirus among children aged <6 months, 6-11 months, 12-23 months and 24+ months was 15.3% (11/72), 13.3% (44/331), 11.0% (24/219) and 6.6% (4/61) respectively in cases and 6.7% (2/30), 13.1% (30/229), 4.2% (8/192) and 7.1 (5/70) in controls. Co-pathogens were commonly detected in norovirus positive cases (77/83) and controls (44/45). Norovirus GII.4 was the most commonly identified genotype, comprising 48% and 41% of genotyped strains among cases and controls, respectively. Conclusions: Norovirus disease prevalence was unchanged during the study period, and was greatest amongst infants. Frequent co-infection and asymptomatic shedding suggests intense community transmission of norovirus and other enteric pathogens in this low-income, African setting.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases