Epidemiology and Infection

Research Article

A study of infectious intestinal disease in England: risk factors associated with group A rotavirus in children

D.  SETHI  a1 c1, P.  CUMBERLAND  a1, M. J.  HUDSON  a2, L. C.  RODRIGUES  a1, J. G.  WHEELER  a1, J. A.  ROBERTS  a1, D. S.  TOMPKINS  a3, J. M.  COWDEN  a4 and P. J.  RODERICK  a5
a1 London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Keppel Street, London WC1E 7HT, England
a2 Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research, Ponton Down, Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK
a3 Leeds Public Health Laboratory, York Road, Leeds, UK
a4 Scottish Centre for Infection and Environmental Health, Clifton Place, Glasgow, UK
a5 Southampton University, Southampton, UK


Objective: To identify risk factors for infectious intestinal disease (IID) due to rotavirus group A in children aged under 16 years.

Methods: Case-control study of cases of IID with rotavirus infection presenting to general practitioners (GPs) or occurring in community cohorts, and matched controls.

Results: There were 139 matched pairs. In children under 16 years the following risk factors were significantly associated with rotavirus IID: living in rented council housing (adjusted OR=3·78, P=0·022), accommodation with more than five rooms (OR=0·72, P=0·002), contact with someone ill with IID (OR=3·45, P<0·001). Some foods were associated with decreased risk. In infants, bottle feeding with or without breast feeding was associated with increased risk (OR=9·06, P<0·05).

Conclusions: Contact with persons with IID, living in rented council housing and accommodation with fewer rooms, were significant risk factors for sporadic rotavirus IID in children whereas breast feeding is protective in infants.

(Accepted January 1 2000)

c1 Author for correspondence.