Introduction: Rotavirus is the major cause of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) in infants and young children all over the world. The objective of the study was to compare different methods for detecting rotavirus and to assess the burden of rotavirus as a causative agent for AGE in children younger than five. 

Methods: This case control study included 65 children with AGE and 35 healthy control children. They were chosen from the Pediatric Department of Zagazig University Hospitals from October 2014 to March 2015. Stool samples were obtained and assayed for rotavirus by the immunochromatography test (ICT), enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and quantitative real time RT-PCR (qr RT-PCR).

Results: Fifty out of the 65 patients (76.9%) were positive for qr RT-PCR. Forty-five (69.2%) and 44 (67.7%) were positive for ICT and ELISA, respectively. There was a significant association between the severity of the disease as determined by the Vesikari score and rotavirus infection. 

Conclusion: This study demonstrated that ICT is a useful method for the rapid screening of group A rotavirus in fecal specimens, because it is rapid, inexpensive, easy to perform, and requires very little equipment. In addition, this study highlights the substantial health burden of rotavirus AGE among children less than five.


Keywords: rotavirus, acute gastroenteritis, Vesikari score, quantitative real time RT-PCR (qr RT-PCR)
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