Characterization and molecular epidemiology of rotavirus strains recovered in Northern Pretoria, South Africa during 2003-2006

L. M. Seheri, N. Page, J. B. Dewar, A. Geyer, A. L. Nemarude, P. Bos, M. Esona, A. D. Steele

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24 Citations (Scopus)


Rotavirus infection is the most common cause of severe dehydrating gastroenteritis in infants and young children and remains a significant clinical problem worldwide. The severity and the burden of rotavirus disease could be reduced through the implementation of an effective vaccine. The aim of this study was to characterize rotavirus strains circulating in the local community as part of an ongoing hospital burden of disease study when a G1P[8] rotavirus vaccine candidate was being evaluated in the same community. From 2003 through 2006, 729 rotavirus-positive stool specimens were collected from children <5 years of age who were treated for diarrhea at Dr George Mukhari Hospital, Ga-Rankuwa, South Africa. Molecular characterization of the strains was performed by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and genotyping of the VP4 and VP7 alleles using well-established seminested multiplex reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction methods. In 2003, 62% of strains exhibited the short rotavirus electropherotype, and the most common rotavirus strain was G2P[4]. In subsequent years, predominant rotavirus strains included G1P[8] and G1P[6] in 2004, G3P[8] and G3P[6] in 2005, and G1P[8] in 2006. For the 4 years of the study, rotavirus strains with P[6] genotype were detected in 25% of all rotavirus-positive specimens. In addition, unusual G12P[6] and G8 strains were detected at a low frequency. These results reflect the diversity of rotavirus strains circulating in South African communities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S139-S147
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2010


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