Pathogen Surveillance of Acute Viral Gastroenteritis in Korea in 2017

Cho Seung-Rye, Lee Deog-Young, Jung Sunyoung, Chae Su-Jin, Choi Wooyoung, Kang Chun
Division of Viral Diseases, Center for Laboratory Control of Infectious Diseases, KCDC

Background: Diarrhea can be caused by many types of bacteria, parasites, and viruses; viruses such as norovirus (NoV), group A rotavirus (RoV), enteric adenovirus (AdV), astrovirus (AsV), and sapovirus (SaV) are frequently associated with acute diarrhea. Acute viral gastroenteritis is a major cause of diarrhea, especially in children aged less than 5 years.
Methodology: A total of 10,092 diarrheal samples were collected by the pathogen surveillance system of the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) from January to December 2017. The samples were analyzed monthly and yearly according to patient age. Additionally, the prevalence rates of NoV genotypes were evaluated.
Results: Analysis of collected samples revealed that viral infection rate was 18.1% (1,831). Acute viral gastroenteritis was found most commonly in children aged less than 5 years in Korea in 2017. NoV was the most prevalent pathogen (9.9%), followed by group A RoV (5.1%), AsV (1.5%), AdV (1.1%), and SaV (0.5%). NoV infection was predominant in the winter season (October-February), while group A RoV infection rate peaked in the spring season (January-May). NoV GII.4 was the predominant genotype; it accounted for 43.3% of the NoV GII strains.
Conclusion: A continuous surveillance system is required for estimating the prevalence of different acute gastroenteritis-causing pathogens.

Keywords: Viral acute gastroenteritis, Surveillance, Norovirus, Rotavirus, Enteric Adenovirus, Astrovirus, Sapovirus