Date: 04 Mar 2009

Adenovirus gastroenteritis in Hungary, 2003–2006

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The incidence and type distribution of enteric human adenoviruses (HAds) among diarrheic children in south-western Hungary was investigated from 2003 through 2006. Laboratory studies were conducted using commercial antigen detection tests (latex agglutination or immunochromatography), polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification, single-strand conformation polymorphism, and sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of a conservative region of the HAd hexon gene. The overall rate of HAd infection in childhood gastroenteritis cases during the 4-year study was 8.1%, with a gradual decrease in detection rates from 11.7% in 2003 to 5.7% in 2006. Molecular studies of a subset of HAd-positive samples found that enteric HAd type 40 strains were identified only in 2003 and 2004, while HAd type 41 strains were identified throughout the 4-year study. Higher detection rates of non-enteric HAds was documented during the first half of the study period when latex agglutination was used in our laboratory for detection. Our study suggests that the choice of diagnostic method may profoundly influence the epidemiologic picture and disease burden attributed to enteric HAd infections.