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Increased prevalence of rotavirus among children associated gastroenteritis in Riyadh Saudi Arabia

Hamsa T Tayeb1*, Hanan H Balkhy12, Sameera M Aljuhani3, Esam Elbanyan4, Solaiman Alalola4 and Mohammad Alshaalan4

Author Affiliations

1 National Guard Health Affairs & King Abdullah International Medical Research Center, Research Genetic Laboratory, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

2 Infection Prevention and control Department, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

3 Division of Microbiology, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

4 Department of pediatrics, KAMC, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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Virology Journal 2011, 8:548  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-8-548

Published: 18 December 2011


The aim of this study is to assess the epidemiology along with the molecular structure of rotavirus causing pediatric diarrhea among Saudi patients. However, in this report we sited the epidemiological reflect coming from our project.


One thousand and seven diarrheal stool samples had been collected between Jan1st, 2008 and OCT 31st, 2010 from hospitalized patients below the age of 5 year. Samples were then examined using Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Demographic data were collected including age, sex, date of admission and discharge. Finally, the chi-squire test, α level of significance was used to test the variables in the data.


Of these 1007 stool samples, rotavirus was detected in 65.5% (660/1007 samples). We observed that children who are 1 year of age or less had more infection with rotavirus 81% (534/660) than those who is over 1 year of age (19%,126/660) (P = 0.000). Infections occur throughout the year with no clear significant seasonal peaks. The difference between males (57.5%, 380/660) and females (42.4%, 280/660) in terms of rotavirus positivity is statistically significant.


The high rate of positivity, are at variance with previously published reports of rotavirus infection in Saudi Arabia since 2005 which reported a major decrease year by year in the incidence of rotavirus over; 2005, 2006 and 2008 with percentage of; 25%, 10%, 6% respectively explained by improvements in public health introduced in recent years. Our increasing rate result (65.5%) may suggest emerging of unusual serotypes, not been represent to our country earlier.