Epidemiology of gastrointestinal infections: lessons learned from syndromic testing, Region Zealand, Denmark

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The aim of this study was to investigate the value of syndromic diagnostic testing for a better understanding of the epidemiology of gastrointestinal infections in Denmark. Here we evaluated the QIAstat-Dx® Gastrointestinal (GI) Panel 1 assay on 18,610 fecal samples requested for analysis for enteric pathogens in Region Zealand, Denmark, in 1 year (October 1, 2021, to September 30, 2022). In total, 6905 (37%) samples were detected positive for one or more diarrhoeal bacteria, viruses, and protozoa. The most common bacterial, viral, and parasitic pathogens detected with the QIAstat-Dx® Gastrointestinal Panel 1 were EPEC (in patients ≥ 2 years of age) (n = 1420 (20.6%)), rotavirus (n = 948 (13.7%)), and Cryptosporidium spp. (n = 196 (2.84%)). We identified a large diversity in infections likely reflecting substantial differences in the epidemiology including origin of infections, mode of transmission, seasonality, age-dependent susceptibility to disease, severity, and travel history. All pathogens were detected as both single and coinfections. Viral infections peaked in March with a positive rate of 31.6%, and bacterial infections peaked in August with a positive rate of 35.3%. ETEC, Shigella/EIEC, EAEC, and P. shigelloides were most related to travel activity, and coinfections were frequent. The distribution of Ct values varied significantly between the pathogens, with the lowest Ct values (median 17-18) observed in astrovirus, adenovirus, and rotavirus. Our results highlight the value of providing extensive diagnostic testing on fecal samples for sufficient detection of relevant diarrhoeal pathogens for optimal clinical care.

Sider (fra-til)1091-1101
Antal sider11
TidsskriftEuropean Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
Udgave nummer9
Tidlig onlinedato19 jul. 2023
StatusUdgivet - sep. 2023

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© 2023. The Author(s).


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