Annals of Clinical Microbiology, The official Journal of the Korean Society of Clinical Microbiology


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An Outbreak of Astrovirus Infection of Newborns with Hemorrhagic Diarrhea in a Neonatal Unit

Original article

Annals of Clinical Microbiology (Ann Clin Microbiol) 2004 June Volume 7, Issue 1, pages 55-58.

An Outbreak of Astrovirus Infection of Newborns with Hemorrhagic Diarrhea in a Neonatal Unit

Jongyoun Yi1, Jae-Kyoo Lee1, Eun-Hee Chung2, Dong Hee Cho3, and Eui-Chong Kim1
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine1, Department of Pediatrics, Dankook University College of Medicine2, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine3, Republic of Korea


Background : We investigated the causative agents of hemorrhagic diarrhea which occurred in newborn babies in a hospital nursery in July, 2002. Rotavirus was not confirmed as the cause because only a few patients were positive for rotavirus test while most others with hemorrhagic diarrhea were negative. Therefore, patients with bloody stool were tested for Salmonella, Shigella, rotavirus, adenovirus, enterovirus, astrovirus, and enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC).

Methods : Bloody stools from 12 newborns with hemorrhagic diarrhea were tested. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of shiga-toxin gene was performed for EHEC. Rotavirus and adenovirus were tested with latex agglutination kit (Orion Diagnostica). Reverse transcription (RT)-PCR was performed for enterovirus. To detect astrovirus, RNA was extracted with Viral RNA Mini Kit (QIAGEN), reverse-transcribed with random hexamer, and PCR-amplified with specific primers.

Results : Of the 12 patients tested, seven (58%) were positive for astrovirus RT-PCR while all were negative for Salmonella, Shigella, EHEC, rotavirus, adenovirus, and enterovirus.

Conclusions : Although diarrhea caused by astrovirus is known to be milder than that caused by rotavirus, our cases showed that astrovirus could cause serious bloody diarrhea in newborn babies. (Korean J Clin Microbiol 2004;7(1):55-58)


Astrovirus, Nosocomial infection, Hemorrhagic diarrhea