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Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo

On-line version ISSN 1678-9946


LUZ, Cláudia Regina N. E. et al. Rotavirus serotypes and electropherotypes identified among hospitalised children in São Luís, Maranhão, Brazil. Rev. Inst. Med. trop. S. Paulo [online]. 2005, vol.47, n.5, pp.287-293. ISSN 1678-9946.

During June 1997-June 1999 rotavirus infection was screened in infants aged up to 2 years and hospitalised with acute diarrhoea in São Luís, Northeastern Brazil. Altogether, 128 stool samples were collected from diarrhoeic patients and additional 122 faecal specimens from age- and- temporal matched inpatients without diarrhoea were obtained; rotavirus positivity rates for these groups were 32.0% (41/128) and 9.8% (12/122), respectively (p < 0.001). Both electropherotyping and serotyping could be performed in 42 (79.2%) of the 53 rotavirus-positive stool samples. Long and short electropherotypes were detected at similar rates - 38.1% and 40.5% of specimens, respectively. Overall, a G serotype could be assigned for 35 (83.3%) of specimens, the majority of them (66.7%) bearing G1-serotype specificity. Taking both electropherotypes and serotypes together, G1 rotavirus strains displaying long and short RNA patterns accounted for 30.9% and 19.0% of tested specimens, respectively; all G2 strains had short electropherotype. Rotavirus gastroenteritis was detected year-round and, in 1998, the incidence rates tended to be higher during the second semester than in the first semester: 45.2% and 26.1% (p = 0.13), respectively. Rotavirus infections peaked at the second semester of life with frequencies of 30.1% and 13.5% for diarrhoeic children and controls, respectively. While the six rotavirus strains bearing G2-type specificity were circulating throughout the whole study period, G1 serotypes (n = 27) emerged as from June 1998 onwards, 20 (74.1%) of which clustering in 1998. These data underscore the importance of rotaviruses in the aetiology of severe infantile gastroenteritis in Northeastern Brazil and sustain the concept that a future vaccine should confer protection against more than one serotype.

Keywords : Rotavirus; Serotypes; Electropherotypes; Children.

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