Anticipating rotavirus vaccines: review of epidemiologic studies of rotavirus diarrhea in Argentina.
Gomez JA. Nates S. De Castagnaro NR. Espul C. Borsa A. Glass RI.
Ministry of Health and Social Action, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Buenos Aires, Argentina. firstname.lastname@example.org
Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhea in children worldwide, and vaccines currently being field-tested could be available for childhood immunization in several years. To assess the rotavirus disease burden in Argentina and the value of future national surveillance for the disease, we reviewed available data on rotavirus detections reported by published and unpublished studies conducted in nine Argentine cities and by a multicenter study. Data from these studies indicated that rotavirus was detected in 20% of 5,226 specimens (within a range of 6% to 54% for different studies) from children hospitalized for diarrhea and in 9% of 6,587 specimens (within a range of 5% to 22% for different studies) from children who were outpatients, members of mixed populations (hospitalized patients and outpatients), or survey subjects in community-based studies. The hospital data showed that while rotavirus was detected throughout the year, a peak occurred during the winter months (May-July) when up to half of the children with diarrhea were found positive for rotavirus. Attempted serotyping of 294 rotavirus-positive specimens for G-protein by three laboratories was successful in 230 cases (78%); the resulting data indicated that serotype G1 was the most common (being present in 60% of the successfully serotyped specimens), followed by G2 (in 20%), G4 (in 14%), and G3 (in 5%). Based on national data for Argentina, we estimate that in 1991 there were roughly 84,500 rotavirus-associated outpatient visits (1 for every 8 births) and 21,000 hospitalizations averaging 4 days in length (1 for every 31 births), all of which entailed direct medical costs estimated at US$ 27.7 million. These preliminary data show that the rotavirus disease burden in Argentine children is extensive and could be decreased by a safe and effective vaccine. Further surveillance is needed to improve our understanding of the epidemiology and distribution of rotavirus strains in Argentina, to more accurately assess the cost-effectiveness of a rotavirus vaccine program, and to indicate what methods might best be used to monitor such a program's impact.
[Epidemic outbreak of Salmonella richmond infection in Castellon, Spain]
Pac Sa MR. Arnedo A. Benedicto J. Arranz A. Aguilar V. Guillen F.
Centro de Salud Publica de Benicarlo, Castellon, Espana.
A case-control study was carried out to investigate an outbreak of acute gastroenteritis among a military detachment stationed in a rural area of Castellon, Espana. The purpose of the study was to determine the causes of the outbreak and develop control measures. Of the 153 men in the detachment, 135 were included in the study. Between 9 and 11 August 1993, 45 cases were reported; the patients' average age was 19.2 +/- 1.5 years. The attack rate was 33.3%. The clinical picture was dominated by the following symptoms: diarrhea (76%), vomiting (67%), nausea (67%), and abdominal pain (28%). The median duration of symptoms was one day, and that of the incubation period was 33 hours. Only one patient required hospitalization and all of them recovered. Salmonella richmond (6.7: and :1.2) was isolated in 5 of the 14 stool cultures performed. An association was also discovered between the illness and consumption of water from an aqueduct that flowed near the camp. A logistic regression model showed that consumption of water from this source remained associated with cases after adjusting for age and the consumption of various foods (odds ratio = 96.5; 95% confidence interval, 11.4-814.4). The risk of suffering from the illness rose with the amount of water consumed (chi 2 trend test = 65.4, P < 0.0001). Chemical and bacteriological analyses of the aqueduct water indicated the presence of fecal contamination. The aqueduct had not been subject to sanitary monitoring, even though the water was used to irrigate agricultural crops. The widespread presence in the environment of species of Salmonella was demonstrated. Health education and microbiological studies of water courses can be of great value in preventing such epidemics.