Rotaviral associated disease of infants in the UK is seasonal and infection in adults not uncommon but the relationship between these has been little explored. Adult sera collected monthly for one year from routine hospital samples were screened for the presence of anti-group A rotavirus immunoglobulin M class antibodies as a marker of recent infection. Anti-rotavirus IgM was seen in all age groups throughout the year with little obvious seasonal variation in the distribution of antibody levels. IgM concentrations and the proportion seropositive above a threshold both increased with age with high concentrations consistently observed in the elderly. Results suggest either high infection rates of rotavirus in adults, irrespective of seasonal disease incidence in infants, IgM persistence or IgM cross-reactivity. These results support recent evidence of differences between infant and adult rotavirus epidemiology and highlight the need for more extensive surveys to investigate age and time related infection and transmission of rotavirus.
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