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Astrovirus and Sapovirus in Children with Acute Gastroenteritis

Walters, Sara M (2023) Astrovirus and Sapovirus in Children with Acute Gastroenteritis. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Acute gastroenteritis (AGE) is the second leading cause of death in children globally and a leading cause of disease in developed countries. However, the burden of some AGE causing viruses is poorly known. Astrovirus and sapovirus are both important contributors to the burden of AGE worldwide, but are often left unstudied. To identify the prevalence and diversity of astrovirus and sapovirus in Pittsburgh children under the age of 18 experiencing AGE, we tested samples from children enrolled from 2016-2021 in the CDC-supported New Vaccine Surveillance Network (NVSN) from the UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Emergency Department and inpatient floors. We also sought to explore the prevalence of astrovirus and sapovirus in AGE patients enrolled in the NVSN study at the Kansas City, Rochester, and Seattle sites. Age-matched, asymptomatic healthy control participants were also enrolled. Stool specimens were returned to the lab and processed in a set of bead beating and incubation steps. RNA was extracted from stool specimens and tested by qRT-PCR for norovirus, rotavirus, astrovirus, and sapovirus. Viral prevalence, severity and seasonality were determined. Astrovirus positive and sapovirus positive specimens were genotyped using conventional RT-PCR and sequencing of the capsid gene. Genetic diversity was aligned with reference sequences and analyzed using MacVector to generate a phylogenetic tree. Astrovirus was detected in 4% of the specimens from children with AGE in the Pittsburgh area and 75% of these were the subtype HAstV-1. Astrovirus was detected in 1% of the healthy control specimens. Sapovirus was found in 8% of the specimens from children with AGE in Pittsburgh, with 70% sapovirus subtype GI.1. Sapovirus was detected in 2% of heathy control specimens. Children would benefit from vaccines targeting the most prevalent subtype of both astrovirus and sapovirus to reduce the incidence of AGE and prevent hospitalizations. This study aims to determine the prevalence and seasonality of astrovirus and sapovirus in the New Vaccine Surveillance Network, define the genetic diversity of astrovirus and sapovirus in Pittsburgh, PA, and to describe the demographic and clinical features of astrovirus and sapovirus infection in children.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Walters, Sara Msmm293@pitt.edusmm2930009-0003-6873-5943
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairHartman, Amy
Committee MemberWilliams, Johnjvw@pitt.edujvw0000-0001-8377-5175
Committee MemberMailliard, Robbie Brbm19@pitt.eduRBM190000-0001-5501-503X
Date: 11 May 2023
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 21 April 2023
Approval Date: 11 May 2023
Submission Date: 21 April 2023
Access Restriction: 1 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 1 year.
Number of Pages: 44
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Infectious Diseases and Microbiology
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Acute Gastroenteritis New Vaccine Surveillance Network NVSN Sapovirus Astrovirus
Date Deposited: 11 May 2023 16:42
Last Modified: 11 May 2023 16:42


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