Population-based incidence rates of diarrheal disease associated with norovirus, sapovirus, and astrovirus in Kenya

Kayoko Shioda, Leonard Cosmas, Allan Audi, Nicole Gregoricus, Jan Vinjé, Umesh D. Parashar, Joel M. Montgomery, Daniel R. Feikin, Robert F. Breiman, Aron J. Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background Diarrheal diseases remain a major cause of mortality in Africa and worldwide. While the burden of rotavirus is well described, population-based rates of disease caused by norovirus, sapovirus, and astrovirus are lacking, particularly in developing countries. Methods Data on diarrhea cases were collected through a population-based surveillance platform including healthcare encounters and household visits in Kenya. We analyzed data from June 2007 to October 2008 in Lwak, a rural site in western Kenya, and from October 2006 to February 2009 in Kibera, an urban slum. Stool specimens from diarrhea cases of all ages who visited study clinics were tested for norovirus, sapovirus, and astrovirus by RT-PCR. Results Of 334 stool specimens from Lwak and 524 from Kibera, 85 (25%) and 159 (30%) were positive for norovirus, 13 (4%) and 31 (6%) for sapovirus, and 28 (8%) and 18 (3%) for astrovirus, respectively. Among norovirus-positive specimens, genogroup II predominated in both sites, detected in 74 (87%) in Lwak and 140 (88%) in Kibera. The adjusted community incidence per 100,000 person-years was the highest for norovirus (Lwak: 9,635; Kibera: 4,116), followed by astrovirus (Lwak: 3,051; Kibera: 440) and sapovirus (Lwak: 1,445; Kibera: 879). For all viruses, the adjusted incidence was higher among children aged <5 years (norovirus: 22,225 in Lwak and 17,511 in Kibera; sapovirus: 5,556 in Lwak and 4,378 in Kibera; astrovirus: 11,113 in Lwak and 2,814 in Kibera) compared to cases aged ≥ 5 years. Conclusion Although limited by a lack of controls, this is the first study to estimate the outpatient and community incidence rates of norovirus, sapovirus, and astrovirus across the age spectrum in Kenya, suggesting a substantial disease burden imposed by these viruses. By applying adjusted rates, we estimate approximately 2.8-3.3 million, 0.45-0.54 million, and 0.77-0.95 million people become ill with norovirus, sapovirus, and astrovirus, respectively, every year in Kenya.This is an open access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0145943
JournalPloS one
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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