Asymptomatic Rotavirus Infections in England: Prevalence, Characteristics, and Risk Factors


Phillips, Gemma 2010. Asymptomatic Rotavirus Infections in England: Prevalence, Characteristics, and Risk Factors. American Journal of Epidemiology. 171 (9), pp. 1023-1030.
AuthorsPhillips, Gemma

Rotavirus is a major cause of infectious intestinal disease in young children; a substantial prevalence of asymptomatic
infection has been reported across all age groups. In this study, the authors determined characteristics of
asymptomatic rotavirus infection and potential risk factors for infection. Healthy persons were recruited at random
from the general population of England during the Study of Infectious Intestinal Disease in England (1993–1996).
Rotavirus infection was identified using reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction. Multivariable logistic
regression was used to compare exposures reported by participants with rotavirus infection with those of participants
who tested negative. Multiple imputation was used to account for missing responses in the data set. The
age-adjusted prevalence of asymptomatic rotavirus infection was 11%; prevalence was highest in children under
age 18 years. Attendance at day care was a risk factor for asymptomatic rotavirus infection in children under age 5
years; living in a household with a baby that was still in diapers was a risk factor in older adults. The results suggest
that asymptomatic rotavirus infection is transmitted through the same route as rotavirus infectious intestinal disease:
person-to-person contact. More work is needed to understand the role of asymptomatic infections in transmission
leading to rotavirus disease.

Keywordsrotavirus infections; case-control models
JournalAmerican Journal of Epidemiology
Journal citation171 (9), pp. 1023-1030
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Publication dates
Print14 Apr 2010
Publication process dates
Deposited09 May 2012
Additional information

Phillips, G., Lopman, B., Rodrigues, L.C. and Tam, C.C. (2010), 'Asymptomatic Rotavirus Infections in England: Prevalence, Characteristics, and Risk Factors', American Journal of Epidemiology, 171(9), pp. 1023-1030, doi:10.1093/aje/kwq050.

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