Between November 1992 and August 1993, twenty-eight rotavirus-positive stool samples obtained from paediatric inpatients in Belém, Brazil, aged less than four years, were tested by RT-PCR to determine the P genotype specificities. With the exception of 7 non-diarrhoeic children, all patients were either diarrhoeic at admission or developed diarrhoea while in hospital. Rotavirus strains with the gene 4 alleles corresponding to P1B and P1A types (both of which bearing G2 specificity) predominated, accounting for 78.6% of the strains. While only one P2A type strain - with (mixed) G1 and 4 type specificities - was detected, the gene 4 allele could not be identified in 4 (14.3%) of the strains. Most (81%) of the specimens were obtained from children during their first 18 months of life. Rotavirus strains bearing single P1B type-specificity were identified in both diarrhoeic (either nosocomial, 28.6% or community-acquired diarrhoea, 28.6%) and non-diarrhoeic (42.8%) children. P1A gene 4 allele, on the other hand, was detected only among diarrhoeic children, at rates of 57.1% and 42.9% for nosocomial- and- community acquired diarrhoea, respectively. Mixed P1A,1B type infection was identified in only one case of community-acquired diarrhoea.
Rotavirus; P types; Diarrhoea; Hospitalized children