o examine the role of enteric adenoviruses (Ad40 and Ad41) in children with acute gastroenteritis, we evaluated 273 children with diarrhoea and 137 without enteric symptoms in Palermo, Italy, during an 8-month period. Stools were tested by two home-made monoclonal-based ELISAs to detected genus-specific adenovirus antigen and to type Ad40 and Ad41. Twenty-five samples (6.1%) were found to contain adenovirus, 18 of which were grown in Graham 293 and in HEp-2 cells. Ad40 and Ad41 were detected in 2.6% of children with diarrhoea and in none in the control group, while non-enteric adenoviruses were obtained from both patients (3.2%) and controls (6.5%). Samples containing Ad40 and Ad41 were positive by the virus isolation procedure in Graham and in HEp-2 cells, showing no distinct growth pattern in these cell lines. The evaluation of a latex agglutination test (Adenolex) and of a commercial ELISA (Adenoclone), respectively available for the detection of genus adenovirus antigen and for the typing of Ad40 and Ad41 suggests that both tests enable the identification of enteric adenoviruses in stool specimens, giving results comparable to our ELISAs.
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