Aetiology of Diarrhoea in Children Under Five in Zambia Detected Using Luminex xTAG Gastrointestinal Pathogen Panel

This study, conducted by Chisenga et al. (2018) and published in Pediatric Infectious Disease, aimed to document viral, bacterial and protozoan enteric pathogens responsible for causing moderate-to-severe diarrhoea among children under five presenting at public health facilities in Zambia following the introduction of rotavirus vaccination. This was a cross-sectional study in which clinical data and stool samples were collected between July 2012 and October 2013 from children under five years presenting to outpatient clinics in Lusaka province with moderate-tosevere diarrhoea. The study was conducted during the early months post rotavirus vaccine introduction in Zambia. We used Luminex x-TAGĀ® gastrointestinal pathogen panel to simultaneously detect enteric viruses, bacteria and protozoa from the stool samples. We applied the population attributable fraction to estimate pathogen-specific burden of moderate-to-severe diarrhoea. We analysed 1,135 unique stool samples with clinical data, of which 56% had received one or full dose rotavirus vaccination. The median age was 14 months (IQR=8, 22). The prevalence of moderate-to-severe diarrhoea was estimated as 18.9% (95%CI=16.7, 21.2). The most attributable cases of moderate-to-severe diarrhoea were due to rotavirus {attributable fraction=24.5%; 95%CI=(5.4, 39.7)} followed by Shigella spp. {attributable fraction=6.7%; 95%CI=(0.1, 15.5)}. The top 5 enteric pathogens detected among children were rotavirus (67.6%), Adenovirus (41.5%), ETEC (40.7%), Salmonella (38.4%) and Giardia (37.0%). We found that about one-third of moderate-tosevere diarrhoea among children were attributable to rotavirus and Shigella spp.

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