Astrovirus and digestive disorders in neonatal units
Aim: To describe clinical signs associated with Human Astrovirus (HAstV) in stools in neonatal units.
Methods: During 2005–2006, all stool virology performed for isolated digestive symptoms or suspicion of neonatal infection was tested for HAstV by an amplified enzyme‐linked immunoassay (IDEIA™ Astrovirus test, Dako Cytomation). Each newborn with a positive result (HAstV+ group) was retrospectively matched with the first following symptomatic newborn in the same care unit having a negative stool virology (HAstV− group). Clinical data were collected during two 3‐day periods (just after faecal samples collection and 1 week before) and compared within and between each group.
Results: Human astrovirus was detected in faeces of 68 newborns [gestational age: 31.4(28.8–34) weeks] at a post‐natal age of 23 (15–42) days without seasonal dominance. Human astrovirus+ and HAstV− groups were comparable. Bloody stool (54.4% versus 14.7%, p < 0.01) and stage II–III necrotizing enterocolitis (20.6% versus 4.4%, p < 0.05) were more frequently observed in HAstV+ than in HAstV− group; these associations were confirmed by logistic regression analysis.
Conclusion: This descriptive study argues for a possible association between HAstV and digestive symptoms in newborns specifically in preterm infants.
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