Clinical severity of enteric viruses detected using a quantitative molecular assay compared to conventional assays in the global enteric multicenter study

Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health


Background: Quantitative molecular assays are increasingly used for detection of enteric viruses.
Methods: We compared the clinical severity using modified Vesikari score (mVS) of enteric viruses detected by conventional assays (enzyme immunoassays [EIA] for rotavirus and adenovirus 40/41 and conventional polymerase chain reaction for astrovirus, sapovirus, and norovirus) and a quantitative molecular assay (TaqMan Array Card [TAC]) among children aged 0-59 months in the Global Enteric Multicenter Study. For rotavirus and adenovirus 40/41, we compared severity between EIA-positive and TAC-positive cases assigned etiologies using different cycle threshold (CT) cutoffs.
Results: Using conventional assays, the median (interquartile range) mVS was 10 (8, 11) for rotavirus, 9 (7, 11) for adenovirus 40/41, 8 (6, 10) for astrovirus, sapovirus, and norovirus GII, and 7 (6, 9) for norovirus GI. Compared to rotavirus EIA-positive cases, the median mVS was 2 and 3 points lower for EIA-negative/TAC-positive cases with CT<32.6 and 32.6≤CT<35, respectively (p-value<.0001). Adenovirus 40/41 EIA-positive and EIA-negative/TAC-positive cases were similar, regardless of CT cutoff.
Conclusions: Quantitative molecular assays compared to conventional assays, such as EIA, may influence severity of identified cases, especially for rotavirus. Cutoffs to assign etiology for quantitative assays should be considered in the design and interpretation of enteric virus studies


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Publication (Name of Journal)

The Journal of Infectious Diseases