Open Access Open Badges Research

Circulating rotaviral RNA in children with rotavirus antigenemia

Kamruddin Ahmed1*, Gulendam Bozdayi2, Marcelo T Mitui3, Selim Ahmed4, Luthful Kabir4, Dalgic Buket5, Ilknur Bostanci6 and Akira Nishizono3

Author Affiliations

1 Research Promotion Institute, Oita University, Yufu, Japan

2 Department of Clinical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey

3 Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, Oita University, Yufu, Japan

4 Department of Pediatrics, Institute of Child and Mother Health, Dhaka, Bangladesh

5 Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Faculty of Medicine, Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey

6 Department of Pediatrics, Ministry of Health Ankara Educational and Research Hospital, Ankara, Turkey

For all author emails, please log on.

Journal of Negative Results in BioMedicine 2013, 12:5  doi:10.1186/1477-5751-12-5

Published: 1 February 2013



Rotavirus antigenemia is a common phenomenon in children with rotavirus diarrhea, but information is scarce on aspects of this phenomenon, such as genotype specificity, presence of intact viruses and correlation between genomic RNA and antigen concentration. Such information may help in understanding rotavirus pathogenesis and eventually be useful for diagnosis, treatment and prevention.

Methods and findings

Serum samples were collected from children who presented at hospitals with diarrhea. Antigenemia was present in 162/250 (64.8%) samples from children with rotavirus diarrhea. No specific rotavirus genotype was found to be associated with antigenemia. Rotavirus particles could not be found by electron microscopy in concentrated serum from children with high levels of antigenemia. In passaged rotavirus suspension a significant correlation (r = 0.9559; P = 0.0029) was found between antigen level and viral copy number, but no significant correlation (r = 0.001480; P = 0.9919) was found between antigenemia level and viral copy number in serum. When intact rotavirus was treated with benzonase endonuclease, genomic double-stranded (ds) RNA was not degraded, but when sera of patients with antigenemia were treated with benzonase endonuclease, genomic dsRNA was degraded, indicating genomic dsRNA was free in sera and not inside virus capsid protein.


Antigenemia is present in a significant number of patients with rotavirus diarrhea. Rotavirus viremia was absent in the children with rotavirus diarrhea who participated in our study, and was not indicated by the presence of antigenemia. The significance of circulating rotavirus antigen and genomic dsRNA in serum of patients with diarrhea deserves further study.

Human; Rotavirus; Antigenemia; Cytokine; Viremia