Acute diarrhea is a common cause of morbidity in children worldwide. Rotavirus, as an etiology of acute diarrhea, has been decreased after the implementation of vaccine and norovirus has become the most prevalent viral etiology of acute gastroenteritis. Norovirus is a non-enveloped RNA virus associated with acute gastroenteritis transmitted by fecal-oral route in all age group
The aim of the present study was to detect the prevalence of norovirus and genotypes determination by real-time PCR among children below 18 years as an etiology of acute gastroenteritis and to compare rapid detection of norovirus by Enzyme-Linked Immunoassay (ELISA) to virus detection by real-time PCR.
The research was a cross-sectional study conducted on children below 18 years complaining of community-acquired acute gastroenteritis. A stool sample was subjected to direct-antigen detection by ELISA for norovirus and molecular study by real-time polymerase chain reaction.
The study included 200 children with acute gastroenteritis with a mean age of 6.7±3.8 years. Norovirus antigen was detected by EIA in 34.5% and by real-time PCR in 30.5% of studied children with genotype GII, the predominant detected genotype (80.97%). Both real-time PCR and antigen detection of norovirus were positive in 43 (70.5%) of the children and negative in 113(81.3%) of the studied children. The sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value and accuracy for antigen detection by ELISA were 70.5%, 81.3%, 62.3%, 86.3% and 78%, respectively. Comparison between patients positive for norovirus and those negative for norovirus by real-time PCR revealed non-significant difference as regards age, sex, the season of occurrence and residence.