Rotavirus can spread beyond the intestine

Apr 17, 2007

A new study in PLoS Medicine has shown that children who have rotavirus, a very common cause of diarrhea in children, and who have antigens (protein fragments from the surface of the virus) in their blood, also have infectious virus in their blood.

Margaret Conner and colleagues from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston Texas, tested samples obtained from hospitalized children with gastroenteritis and compared them with samples taken from children admitted with bronchiolitis or noninfectious, nonchronic conditions and healthy adults.

Rotavirus antigen was detected in the blood of 51 of 57 of children with rotavirus-positive stools, in 8 of 9 of children without diarrhea but with rotavirus-positive stools, in 2 of 17 children with bronchiolitis of unknown cause without gastroenteritis, and in 5 of 41 children with gastroenteritis but with rotavirus-negative stools. No antigen was found in the blood of any other groups. A further study of 11 children who had antigen in their blood and 9 who did not showed that infectious virus was detected in the blood of all 11 children who were antigen-positive children but in just 2 out of 9 children who were antigen-negative.

The authors conclude that in the children studied most of those infected with rotavirus also had infectious virus in their blood. The presence of virus in the blood appears to be directly related to the presence of antigen in the blood but is independent of the presence of diarrhea. The finding of infectious rotavirus in the blood suggests that the disease is not limited to just the intestine. A related perspective by David Candy discusses the study's findings further.

Source: Public Library of Science

Explore further: Investigators show how immune cells are 'educated' not to attack beneficial bacteria

Related Stories

3-D printers to make human body parts? It's happening

Feb 04, 2015

It sounds like something from a science fiction plot: So-called three-dimensional printers are being used to fashion prosthetic arms and hands, jaw bones, spinal-cord implants - and one day perhaps even living human body ...

Researchers grow norovirus in human cells

Nov 07, 2014

University of Florida researchers have grown a human norovirus in a cell culture dish, finally opening the door to developing medications for fighting the intestinal scourge that strikes tens of millions ...

Food allergies: A new, simple method to track down allergens

Jul 02, 2014

Although food allergies are common, sufferers often don't know exactly what in foods cause their allergic reactions. This knowledge could help develop customized therapies, like training the body's immune system to respond ...

Recommended for you

Fat signals control energy levels in the brain

Apr 23, 2015

An enzyme secreted by the body's fat tissue controls energy levels in the brain, according to new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The findings, in mice, underscore a role ...

Human tape worm drug shows promise against MRSA in lab

Apr 23, 2015

A new study provides evidence from lab experiments that a drug already used in people to fight tapeworms might also prove effective against strains of the superbug MRSA, which kills thousands of people a ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.