This is a case-control study design that aims to determine the prevalence of norovirus and astrovirus infections in diarrheic children in Northeast region of Nigeria. Six hundred diarrheic stools (which were neither mucoid nor blood tinged) of children of 5 years or below were collected between May 2013 – April 2014. They were screened according to the manufacturer’s instruction, using a 3rd generation Ridascreen ELISA kit (R-Biopharm AG, Germany). The control group comprised thirty five non-diarrheic stools. Demographic data were collected via questionnaire administered to parents/guardians of the subjects and analysis was done using online Easy-Chi-square (p<0.05) statistical package. An overall norovirus and astrovirus prevalence of 6.7% (40/600) and 5.0% (30/600) respectively across the Northeast region was obtained. The prevalence of norovirus in Taraba, Bauchi and Borno states was 7 (14/200), 5 (10/200) and 8% (16/200), while that of astrovirus was 5.5 (11/200) 4.5 (9/200) and 5% (10/200), respectively. The sex distribution of number of male relative to female children sampled reveals a preponderance of male (336/600) over female (264/600). Prevalence of norovirus and astrovirus antigen was high in children aged 1 to 2 years across the region. Source of drinking water, nearness of toilet to source of drinking water, hand washing after toilet use, playing with toys, attendance of day care center and educational status of parents were statistically (p<0.05) and significantly contributory factors to infection. The prevalence of norovirus (6.7%) and astrovirus (5.0%) in diarrhea in Northeast Nigeria has shown that both viruses contribute to childhood diarrhea, with most of the children infected below age 2.
Key words: Prevalence, predisposing factors, norovirus, astrovirus, diarrhea, north-east, Nigeria.
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