PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles

Infectious Diseases - Microbiology - Pediatrics and Child Health - Public Health and Epidemiology - Virology

Low Prevalence of Rotavirus and High Prevalence of Norovirus in Hospital and Community Wastewater after Introduction of Rotavirus Vaccine in Nicaragua
Published: Friday, October 07, 2011
Author: Filemón Bucardo et al.

by Filemón Bucardo, Per-Eric Lindgren, Lennart Svensson, Johan Nordgren

Rotavirus (RV) and norovirus (NoV) are major causes of pediatric diarrhea and are altogether associated with approximately 800,000 deaths in young children every year. In Nicaragua, national RV vaccination program using the pentavalent RV5 vaccine from Merck was implemented in October 2006. To determine whether RV vaccination decreased the overall number of RV infections, we investigated the occurrence of RV and NoV in wastewater in the city of León from July 2007 to July 2008 and compared these data with pre-vaccination data. The major finding was the low prevalence of RV compared to NoV in all sampling points (11% vs 44%, p<0.05), and that RV concentration was lower as compared to NoV. RV was observed mainly during the rainy season (July–September), and the majority of all RV detected (6/9) belonged to subgroup (SG) I. The partial VP7-gene obtained from one RV positive sample was similar (99% nt identity) to a G6 VP7-gene of bovine origin and similar to the corresponding gene of the vaccine strain (98%). Furthermore RV G-types 2 and 4 were found in the incoming wastewater. NoV strains were detected throughout the year, of which a majority (20/21) were of genotype GII.4. We conclude that the introduction of RV vaccination reduced the transmission of RV in the community in Nicaragua. However, the burden of diarrhea in the country remains high, and the high prevalence of NoVs in hospital and municipal wastewater is noteworthy. This study highlights the need for further assessment of NoV following RV vaccine introduction.