Enteric adenoviruses are one of the most significant etiological agents of severe viral gastroenteritis among infants and young children worldwide. This study was conducted to evaluate the clinical and epidemiological features of enteric adenovirus gastroenteritis in hospitalized children less than 7 years of age in Borazjan, Bushehr Province, Iran. From October 2008 to September 2010, stool specimens from 375 children suffering from acute diarrhea were investigated for the presence of enteric adenoviruses using enzyme immunoassays (EIA). Demographic and clinical information were obtained through a standard questionnaire and analyzed by SPSS software. Out of the total collected samples, 5.1% were positive for enteric adenoviruses. Of the adenovirus episodes, 68.42% occurred during the first 2 years of life (P = 0.640). The highest prevalence of infection was identified in the spring (63.16%), followed by the autumn (21.05%), winter (10.53%) and summer (5.26%) seasons, respectively (P = 0.001). The most common clinical symptoms included diarrhea (84.21%), moderate dehydration (63.16%), fever (57.89%) and vomiting (42.10%). Overall, 69.23% of the children with acute gastroenteritis were not breast-fed and 23.08% were breastfeeding at the time of presentation of the adenovirus infection (P = 0.04). This study highlights the importance of enteric adenoviruses as an etiological agent of acute gastroenteritis, particularly among children less than 2 years old and during the cold seasons.
Key words: Enteric adenoviruses, gastroenteritis, epidemiology, Iran.
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