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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases and Medical Microbiology
Volume 19, Issue 6, Pages 397-404
Original Article

Measuring the Impact of Rotavirus Acute Gastroenteritis Episodes (MIRAGE): A prospective Community-Based Study

Martin Sénécal,1 Marc Brisson,2,3 Marc H Lebel,4 John Yaremko,5 Richard Wong,6 Lee Ann Gallant,6 Hartley A Garfield,6 Darryl J Ableman,7 Richard L Ward,8 John S Sampalis,2,5,9 James A Mansi,1 and for the MIRAGE study group

1Merck Frosst Canada Ltd, Montreal, Canada
2Université Laval, Laval, Canada
3Unité de Recherche en Santé des Populations, Centre Hospitalier Affilié Universitaire de Québec, Quebec City, Canada
4Centre hospitalier universitaire Sainte-Justine, Université de Montréal, Canada
5McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
6The University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
7The University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
8Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
9JSS Medical Research, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Received 7 January 2008; Accepted 4 June 2008

Copyright © 2008 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


BACKGROUND: Current assessments of the burden of rotavirus (RV)-related gastroenteritis are needed to evaluate the potential benefits of RV immunization interventions. The objective of the present study was to characterize the burden of RV gastroenteritis among children presenting in outpatient settings with gastroenteritis.

METHODS: Between January and June 2005, 395 children younger than three years of age presenting with gastroenteritis symptoms (at least three watery or looser-than-normal stools, or forceful vomiting within the previous 24 h period) were recruited from 59 Canadian clinics and followed for two weeks. Stool specimens were tested for the RV antigen. Gastroenteritis-related symptoms, health care utilization, parental work loss and other cases of gastroenteritis in the household were assessed by questionnaires and daily symptom cards that were completed by caregivers.

RESULTS: Of 336 conclusive test results, 55.4% were RV positive (RV+). In addition to diarrhea, 67.2% and 89.3% of RV+ children experienced fever or vomiting, respectively. Compared with RV-negative (RV–) children, RV+ children were more likely to experience the three symptoms concurrently (57.0% versus 26.7%; P<0.001), to be hospitalized (12.9% versus 3.9%; P=0.008) and to induce parental work loss (53.8% versus 37.3%; P=0.003). The median duration of gastroenteritis was eight days for RV+ children (nine days for RV– children). Additional cases of gastroenteritis were present in 46.8% of households in the RV+ group (51.3% of households in the RV– group).

CONCLUSIONS: RV gastroenteritis cases were more severe than other gastroenteritis cases, were hospitalized more often and were associated with considerably more work loss.