Molecular Analysis of Non-structural Protein 1 (NSP1) in Children Infected with Rotavirus in Babylon Province, Iraq: A Cross-Sectional Study
AbstractGlobally, a considerable number of infants and children younger than five are falling victim to diarrheal diseases predominantly caused by rotaviruses, which are non-enveloped, double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) viruses able to cause acute gastroeteritis and extragastrointestinal complications. Annually, human rotaviruses cause two million hospitalizations and over 500,000 deaths worldwide. Rotaviral replication, pathogenesis, and immune evasion are propagated by non-structural protein 1 (NSP1), encoded by segment five of their dsRNA genome. We examined 60 urine and stool samples from children aged 2-60 months admitted to an Obstetric and Children Hospital in Babylon over a 60-day time period with the diagnosis of acute group A rotavirus gastroenteritis. This study aimed to check the presence of NSP1 by immunochromatography assay and RT-qPCR. Immunochromatography assay detected NSP1 in 100% of urine and stool samples; however, RT-qPCR only detected it in 66.7% of urine and 50% of stool samples. RT-qPCR found 12 out of 30 urine and stool samples positive, accounting for 40% of participants. No significant correlations between RT-qPCR results and sociodemographic factors were found. Results found 73.3% of acute gastroenteritis cases were in children under two. Additionally, the urinary detection of NSP1 suggests that rotaviruses may cause extra-gastrointestinal infections, e.g., systemic infection or viremia.