Molecular epidemic features and variation of rotavirus among children with diarrhea in Lanzhou, China, 2001-2006

Yu Jin, Xin-Hua Ye, Zhao-Yin Fang, Yu-Ning Li, Xue-Mei Yang, Qiao-Li Dong, Xiang Huang
World Journal of Pediatrics: WJP 2008, 4 (3): 197-201

BACKGROUND: Human rotavirus (HRV) is the most common pathogen causing severe diarrhea among infants and young children worldwide. This study aims to understand rotavirus epidemiology and its variation in the period of 2001-2006 in Lanzhou, Gansu Province, China, and to provide an epidemiological basis for the development of rotavirus vaccine.

METHODS: A total of 1019 stool specimens were collected from patients with acute diarrhea admitted to the First Hospital of Lanzhou University from 2001 to 2006, who were younger than 5 years old. Dako IDEIATM kits were used for detection of rotavirus, and RT-PCR was performed for determination of G serotype and P genotype of the rotavirus.

RESULTS: Rotavirus was present in 51.6% (526) of the 1019 specimens. G serotype identified G3 at 40.9%, G2 14.6%, G1 22.2% and G9 1.9%. Mixed-G infection was observed in 4.4% and non-typeable infection 16.0%. P genotype was observed in 372 samples, of which P[8] accounted for 186 cases (50.0%), P[4] 72 cases (19.4%), mixed-P infection 2 cases (0.5%), and non-typeable cases 112 (30.1%). G3 was the most prevalent G serotype found in this study from 2001 to 2004, G2 was the most prevalent G serotype (34.4%) from 2004 to 2005, and G1 (61.5%) was the most prevalent strain from 2005 to 2006. G9 was detected in 10 cases (1.9%) and G4 was not detected during this 5-year period. P[8] was the most prevalent P genotype found over the 5 consecutive years of this study, although there was a significant transition of P genotype from 2004 to 2005 with P[4] (45%) identified as the predominant P genotype, followed by P[8] (22.1%). The predominant G-P combination was P[8]G1 (33.6%), followed by P[8]G3 (32.1%) and P[4]G2 (17.2%). Rotavirus diarrhea admissions peaked between October and December. Continuous surveillance showed that the incidence rate of rotavirus was the highest in infants aged 6-23 months, averaging 11.0-11.9 months.

CONCLUSIONS: Five years of continuous surveillance showed that rotavirus remains the most significant viral agent causing diarrhea hospitalization among children under 5 years old in Lanzhou, China although the predominant strain of rotavirus varies between years. Mixed-G serotype infection also appears to occur at a relatively high rate in Lanzhou.

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