This retrospective study (April-September 2003) was designed to investigate the roles of the main viruses responsible for cases of acute infantile gastroenteritis in hospitalised children up to two years of age. The viruses were identified in 64.7% (88/136) of the cases and the detection rates of rotavirus A (RVA), norovirus (NoV) and astrovirus were 41.9% (57/136), 30.3% (24/79) and 12.7% (7/55), respectively. RVA and NoV were detected in 20 of the 24 reported nosocomial infection cases. This study identified the first circulation of the genotype NoV GII.21 in Brazil and highlights the need to establish differential diagnoses through active laboratorial surveillance
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