Case-control assessment of the roles of noroviruses, human bocaviruses 2, 3, and 4, and novel polyomaviruses and astroviruses in acute childhood diarrhea

Rimma Melamed, Gregory A. Storch, Lori R. Holtz, Eileen J. Klein, Brittany Herrin, Phillip I. Tarr, Donna M. Denno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Background. The etiology of acute childhood diarrhea often eludes identification. We used a case-control study-stool archive to determine if nucleic acid tests for established and newly identified viruses diminish our previously published 32% rate of microbiologically unexplained episodes. Methods. Using polymerase chain reaction, we sought to detect noroviruses GI and GII, classic and novel astroviruses, and human bocaviruses (HBoVs) 2, 3, and 4 among 178 case and 178 matched control stool samples and St. Louis and Malawi polyomaviruses among a subset of 98 case and control stool samples. We calculated adjusted odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals using conditional logistic regression. Results. Noroviruses were more common in cases (GI, 2.2%; GII, 16.9%) than in controls (GI, 0%; GII, 4.5%) (adjusted odds ratio, 5.2 [95% confidence interval, 2.5-11.3]). Astroviruses and HBoVs 2, 3, and 4 were overrepresented among the cases, although this difference was not statistically significant. Malawi polyomavirus was not associated with case status, and St. Louis polyomavirus was identified in only 1 subject (a control). When identified in cases, HBoVs 2, 3, and 4 were frequently (77%) found in conjunction with a bona fide diarrheagenic pathogen. Thirty-five (20%) case and 3 (2%) control stool samples contained more than 1 organism of interest. Overall, a bona fide or plausible pathogen was identified in 79% of the case stool samples. Preceding antibiotic use was more common among cases (adjusted odds ratio, 4.5 [95% confidence interval, 2.3-8.5]). Conclusion. Noroviruses were found to cause one-third of the diarrhea cases that previously had no identified etiology. Future work should attempt to ascertain etiologic agents in the approximately one-fifth of cases without a plausible microbial cause, understand the significance of multiple agents in stools, and guide interpretation of nonculture diagnostics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e49-e54
JournalJournal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2017


  • Antibiotics
  • Children
  • Diarrhea
  • Human bocaviruses
  • Viruses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Infectious Diseases


Dive into the research topics of 'Case-control assessment of the roles of noroviruses, human bocaviruses 2, 3, and 4, and novel polyomaviruses and astroviruses in acute childhood diarrhea'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this