In countries with temperate climates, enteric adenoviruses have been shown to be a substantial cause of pediatric gastroenteritis. To determine the incidence of adenovirus infection in a tropical climate, stools were collected from children under age 7 during a 1-year period at an outpatient clinic in Bangkok, Thailand. Stools from 1,114 children with gastroenteritis and from 947 children without gastroenteritis were tested. Each stool was tested for adenovirus group antigen and for specific enteric adenovirus types (Ad40 and Ad41) by monoclonal antibody enzyme immunoassays. We found that 4.4% (49 of 1,114) of children with gastroenteritis and 1.8% (17 of 947) of children without gastroenteritis were positive for adenovirus group antigen. In tests for specific enteric adenovirus types, 2.0% (22 of 1,114) of the tests were positive in children with gastroenteritis and 0.6% (6 of 947) were positive in children without gastroenteritis. There was a significant correlation (P less than 0.02) of gastroenteritis with nonenteric adenovirus types (27 of 1,114) as well as with specific enteric adenovirus types (P less than 0.01). By comparison, 19.7% of children with gastroenteritis and 0.7% of those without gastroenteritis were positive for rotavirus infection. In the adenovirus-infected children with gastroenteritis, there were coinfections with rotavirus only in those with nonenteric adenovirus infection (7 of 27 children). There were no significant differences in the association of bacterial or parasitic infections with either enteric or nonenteric adenovirus infections in either group of children studied. These data demonstrate that Ad40 and Ad41 are causes of gastroenteritis in this population, but among the spectrum of diarrheal etiologies, they may be proportionately less important than they are in countries with temperate climates
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