Association of human rotavirus infection and intestinal rotavirus-specific immunoglobulin A in children with diarrhoea
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The purpose of this study was to determine the role of intestinal specific rotavirus IgA antibody in protection against diarrhoea due to rotavirus infection. Stool from children aged below 5 years with diarrhoea who reported to the Paediatric Observation Ward, Kenyatta National Hospital were examined for micro-organisms and IgA antibody. Specific rotavirus IgA antibody and antigen were determined using enzyme linked immunosorbent assay technique. Out of 153 stool specimens, 22% (34/153) were positive for rotavirus antigen and 15% (23/153) had IgA specific antibody to rotavirus. Children with specific IgA to rotavirus had no rotavirus except in two cases (p < 0.05). There was no difference in levels of specific IgA antibody between normal and malnourished children (p = 0.4). It is probable that intestinal specific IgA to rotavirus protects children against rotavirus diarrhoea.