Burden, Clinical Characteristics, Risk Factors, and Seasonality of Adenovirus 40/41 Diarrhea in Children in Eight Low-Resource Settings

Godfrey Guga, Sarah Elwood, Caroline Kimathi, Gagandeep Kang, Margaret N. Kosek, Aldo A.M. Lima, Pascal O. Bessong, Amidou Samie, Rashidul Haque, Jose Paulo Leite, Ladaporn Bodhidatta, Najeeha Iqbal, Nicola Page, Ireen Kiwelu, Zulfiqar A. Bhutta, Tahmeed Ahmed, Jie Liu, Elizabeth T. Rogawski McQuade, Eric Houpt, James A. Platts-MillsEstomih R. Mduma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The application of molecular diagnostics has identified enteric group adenovirus serotypes 40 and 41 as important causes of diarrhea in children. However, many aspects of the epidemiology of adenovirus 40/41 diarrhea have not been described. Methods: We used data from the 8-site Etiology, Risk Factors, and Interactions of Enteric Infections and Malnutrition and the Consequences for Child Health and Development Project birth cohort study to describe site-and age-specific incidence, risk factors, clinical characteristics, and seasonality. Results: The incidence of adenovirus 40/41 diarrhea was substantially higher by quantitative polymerase chain reaction than enzyme immunoassay and peaked at ∼30 episodes per 100 child-years in children aged 7-15 months, with substantial variation in incidence between sites. A significant burden was also seen in children 0-6 months of age, higher than other viral etiologies with the exception of rotavirus. Children with adenovirus 40/41 diarrhea were more likely to have a fever than children with norovirus, sapovirus, and astrovirus (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.62; 95% CI, 1.16-2.26) but less likely than children with rotavirus (aOR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.49-0.91). Exclusive breastfeeding was strongly protective against adenovirus 40/41 diarrhea (hazard ratio, 0.64; 95% CI, 0.48-0.85), but no other risk factors were identified. The seasonality of adenovirus 40/41 diarrhea varied substantially between sites and did not have clear associations with seasonal variations in temperature or rainfall. Conclusions: This study supports the situation of adenovirus 40/41 as a pathogen of substantial importance, especially in infants. Fever was a distinguishing characteristic in comparison to other nonrotavirus viral etiologies, and promotion of exclusive breastfeeding may reduce the high observed burden in the first 6 months of life.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberofac241
JournalOpen Forum Infectious Diseases
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022


  • Adenovirus
  • Children
  • Diarrhea
  • Seasonality
  • qPCR


Dive into the research topics of 'Burden, Clinical Characteristics, Risk Factors, and Seasonality of Adenovirus 40/41 Diarrhea in Children in Eight Low-Resource Settings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this