Temperature-dependent transmission of rotavirus in Great Britain and the Netherlands

Christina Atchison, C. C. Tam, S. Hajat, W. Van Pelt, J. M. Cowden, B. A. Lopman

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    52 Citations (Scopus)


    In Europe, rotavirus gastroenteritis peaks in late winter or early spring suggesting a role for weather fac-tors in transmission of the virus. In this study, multivariate regression models adapted for time-series data were used to investigate effects of temperature, humidity and rainfall on reported rotavirus infections and the infection-rate parameter, a derived measure of infection transmission that takes into account popu-lation immunity, in England, Wales, Scotland and The Netherlands. Delayed effects of weather were investigated by introducing lagged weather terms into the model. Meta-regression was used to pool together country-specific estimates. There was a 13 per cent (95% confidence interval (CI), 11-15%) decrease in reported infections per 10°C increase in temperature above a threshold of 50°C and a 4 per cent (95%) CI, 3-5%) decrease in the infection-rate parameter per 10°C increase in temperature across the whole temperature range. The effect of temperature was immediate for the infection-rate parameter but delayed by up to four weeks for reported infections. There was no overall effect of humidity or rainfall. There is a direct and simple relationship between cold weather and rotavirus transmission in Great Britain and The Netherlands. The more complex and delayed temperature effect on disease incidence is likely to be mediated through the effects of weather on transmission.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)933-942
    Number of pages10
    JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
    Issue number1683
    Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2010


    • Rainfall
    • Relative humidity
    • Rotavirus
    • Temperature
    • Transmission
    • Weather


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