Stool viruses in babies in Glasgow: 1. Hospital admissions with diarrhoea

Several stools were examined from each patient and the results showed rotaviruses, astroviruses and other viruses in association with symptoms, as well as the expected bacterial pathogens

C. R. Madeley; B. P. Cosgrove; E. J. Bell; R. J. Fallon

2009

Scholarcy highlights

  • Since the first observations of viruses in faeces by direct electron microscopy reports from many parts of the world have confirmed and extended these findings
  • We have examined stools from babies with enteritis admitted to one ward in one hospital over a period of 16 months
  • The purpose was to establish what viruses, bacteria and protozoa were excreted by these babies and our findings suggest that, as others have found by cell culture methods, excretion of viruses in young children does not directly parallel symptoms, and that to regard even rotaviruses as inevitable pathogens may be too simple a view
  • A slightly different picture emerges from examination of more than one stool per patient and possibly erroneous conclusions can be drawn from incomplete information
  • It should be strongly emphasized that a rapid turnover of viral flora can occur in babies under 2 years of age and this will only be detected by examining multiple stools from each patient
  • The adenoviruses pose a particular problem in that apparently the more virus there is detectable by electron microscopy the more difficult it is to grow, all showed some cytopathic effect in culture which usually occurred too late to be a simple toxic effect by the input virus
  • With viruses at least, presence of the organism does not constitute proof of causation

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