A retrospective analysis of viral gastroenteritis in Asia
28 November 2013
01 April 2014
28 July 2015 (online)
Acute gastroenteritis is still a health burden in developed and developing countries. Acute gastroenteritis consistently ranks as one of the top causes of all deaths. The mortality among children due to acute gastroenteritis is greater in developing than in developed countries. Globally, while deaths from childhood diarrhea have decreased during the past two decades, the proportion of hospitalizations due to diarrheal diseases may have increased. In developing countries, gastroenteritis is a common cause of death in children < 5 years of age. In developed countries, while deaths from diarrhea are less common, these illnesses lead to hospitalization or doctor visits. The viruses which cause gastroenteritis are primarily from four distinct families – group A rotaviruses, caliciviruses, enteric adenoviruses and astroviruses. Other viruses, such as picobirnaviruses and picornavirus (the Aichi virus) may also play a role. Viral gastroenteritis is still a burden of disease in most Asian countries. In many Asian countries, the most prevalent causative agent of viral gastroenteritis is rotavirus followed by norovirus, sapovirus, adenovirus, human astrovirus and aichi virus. The G1P rotavirus and GII/4 norovirus are the most common genotypes responsible for acute gastroenteritis among Asian pediatric populations. The other interesting feature of this review article is the high prevalence of diarrheal viruses in developing countries (Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Vietnam, China) than in developed countries (Japan, South Korea). The molecular characterization of many of these gastroenteritis viruses has led to advances both in understanding of the pathogens themselves and in development of a new generation of diagnostics. Therefore, it is necessary to examine the molecular epidemiology of these viruses for controlling diarrheal diseases. The information in this review article should be useful for knowledge of diarrheal viruses, virus control, and viral vaccine design and provide clues to a strategy for developing vaccines against diarrheal viruses.