Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe diarrheal disease in children under 5. years of age worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that 453,000 rotavirus-attributable deaths occur annually. Through the WHO, the Rotavirus Sentinel Surveillance Program was established in Cameroon in September 2007 with the Mother and Child Center (MCC) in Yaoundé playing the role of sentinel site and national laboratory for this program. The objectives of this surveillance were to assess the rotavirus disease burden and collect baseline information on rotavirus strains circulating in Cameroon. Diarrheal stool samples were collected in a pediatric hospital from children under 5, using the WHO case definition for rotavirus diarrhea. Antigen detection of rotavirus was performed by using an enzyme immunoassay (EIA). The genotypic characterization was performed using multiplexed semi-nested reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assays. Between September 2007 and December 2012, 2444 stool samples were received at the MCC laboratory for rotavirus antigen detection, of which 999 (41%) were EIA positive. Among EIA positive samples 898 were genotyped. Genotype prevalence varied each year. Genotype G9P was the dominant type during 2007 (32%) and 2008 (24%), genotype G3P predominated in 2010 (36%) and 2011 (25%), and G1P was predominant in 2012 (44%). The findings showed that the rotavirus disease burden is high and there is a broad range of rotavirus strains circulating in Yaoundé. These data will help measure the impact of vaccination in the future.
- Molecular epidemiology