Prevention and treatment of viral diarrhea in pediatrics

Anderson, E. J.

Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2010 Jan 30; 8(2):205-17


Diarrhea is the second largest cause of mortality worldwide in children from the perinatal period to the age of 5 years. Rotavirus has been the most commonly identified viral cause of diarrhea in children. Norovirus is now recognized as the second most common viral pathogen. Adenovirus, astrovirus and sapovirus are the other major viral causes of pediatric gastroenteritis. Strategies for prevention include basic hygiene, optimization of nutrition and, ultimately, vaccination. Two new vaccines have recently been licensed for the prevention of rotavirus, the monovalent human rotavirus vaccine (Rotarix) and the pentavalent bovine-human reassortant vaccine (RotaTeq). These vaccines have already dramatically decreased the morbidity associated with rotavirus in countries where they are widely used. Efforts to develop a norovirus vaccine face substantial hurdles. Treatment of the viral pathogens is primarily limited to symptomatic measures.

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