Author(s): Butz AM, Fosarelli P, Dick J, Cusack T, Yolken R
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Abstract STUDY OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of rotavirus contamination on environmental surfaces in day-care environments, using the polymerase chain reaction technique. DESIGN: High-risk fomites were identified in two day-care centers and sampled biweekly during a 6-month study period. Water samples from water-play tables in each center were also collected during the study period. During an infectious disease outbreak, fomites were sampled from the rooms in which the outbreak occurred. Reverse transcriptase/polymerase chain reaction was carried out for viral detection of rotavirus from the fomites, and standard bacteriologic measures were used to detect bacteria in samples from water-play tables. RESULTS: A total of 96 fomite samples were tested for presence of rotavirus from the two centers, of which 18/96 (19\%) tested positive for rotavirus. The timing of the positive samples differed between the two centers. In the center that housed infants, a peak of rotavirus-positive fomites coincided with two enteric outbreaks. Rotavirus contamination was found on the telephone receiver, drinking fountain, water-play table, and toilet handles in both centers. Bacteria in large quantities were also identified in water-play table samples. CONCLUSIONS: Moist surfaces including the telephone, water fountains, and water-play tables are common sources of rotavirus contamination within the day-care environment. Until a safe and affordable drug or vaccine against rotavirus is available for general use, avoidance of rotaviral infections is the most effective method for the prevention of rotavirus gastroenteritis.
This article was published in Pediatrics
and referenced in Journal of Vaccines & Vaccination