BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Rotavirus (RV) is the main etiological agent of diarrhea in childhood; its laboratory diagnosis is crucial to guide the clinical management and prevention of its spread. RV immunization was introduced in Brazilian 6-month-old children in 2006. The present study was aimed to evaluate three methodologies used for human RV detection in stool samples obtained from patients hospitalized due to gastroenteritis in a teaching hospital and report the impact of RV immunization in hospitalization by diarrhea. METHODS: 293 stool samples collected in the 2001-2008 period were analyzed by enzyme immunoassay (EIA), latex agglutination (LA) and polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE). RESULTS: Rotavirus was detected in 34.8% of samples by LA assay, 28.3% of samples by EIA assay and in 25.6% of samples by PAGE assay. Considering the PAGE method as gold standard, the sensitivity, specificity and accuracy of EIA were 94.6%, 94.4% and 94.5%, and to LA were 82.6%, 81.6% and 81.9%, respectively. CONCLUSION: These results indicate that antigen detection by EIA is a rapid, sensitive and specific method, and could be used in large-scale applications for screening stool samples suspected of RV infection. This study showed decreased incidence of RV infection in hospitalized children prior to the implementation of the national immunization program against RV.
The human metapneumovirus (hMPV), member of the Paramyxoviridae family, has been reported as an important agent involved with acute respiratory infections (ARIs). The aim of this study is to identify hMPV as the etiological agent of ARIs on in and outpatients in the city of Curitiba, Southern Brazil, and describe clinical data of hMPV subtyping. A retrospective study was performed in 1,572 respiratory samples over a period of three years. hMPV was detected by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and subtyping was performed by nucleotide sequencing. hMPV was present in 61 (3.9%) samples and subtypes A1, A2a, B1 and B2 were detected. The incidence of hMPV was higher in outpatients (5.9%), whose mean age was 19.7 years (range 6 months-75 years old), than in inpatients (3%), whose mean age was 7.6 months (range 1 month-26 years old). The outpatients had upper respiratory tract infections with flu-like symptoms and all hospitalized children had lower respiratory tract infections. A pediatric patient died from complications associated with hMPV A2a infection. hMPV has been reported as a respiratory pathogen in all age groups. No correlation was observed between viral subtype and disease severity in the samples of this study.