Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the viral and bacterial causes of acute watery diarrhoea in hospitalized children in Papua New Guinea. Methods: A retrospective analysis was conducted on stool samples collected from 199 children (age > 5 years) admitted to the paediatric ward of Goroka General Hospital from August 2009 through November 2010. A large range of viral and bacterial enteric pathogens were targeted using real-time PCR/RT-PCR assays. Results: Young children were much more likely to be admitted with acute gastroenteritis, with 62.8% of patients aged >1 year and 88.4% aged >2 years. An enteric pathogen was detected in 69.8% (n= 138) of patients. The most commonly detected pathogens were Shigella spp (26.6%), rotavirus (25.6%), adenovirus types 40/41 (11.6%), enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (11.1%), enteropathogenic E. coli (8.5%), norovirus G2 (6.0%), and Campylobacter spp (4.0%). Norovirus G1, sapovirus, and Salmonella spp were also detected, but below our statistical limit of detection. Vibrio cholerae and astrovirus were not detected in any patients. Mixed infections were detected in 22.1% of patients, with Shigella and rotavirus most commonly detected in co-infections with other pathogens. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that Shigella and rotavirus are the major pathogens associated with acute paediatric gastroenteritis in this setting.
- Papua new guinea