To compare epidemiologic features and genetic characteristics of group A rotaviruses causing diarrhea in children and adults, a survey was conducted in Wuhan, China, during the period of Dec. 2000–May 2006. A total of 3839 stool specimens from diarrheal patients from eight hospitals were analyzed. Winter seasonality was observed for rotavirus diarrhea in both adults and children, showing overall rotavirus-positive rates of 9.0 and 23.9%, respectively. Throughout the study period, G3 was the most frequent G serotype in both adults and children (detection rates 86.2 and 87.8%, respectively), and was mostly associated with VP4 genotype P(8), VP 6 genotype II (subgroup II), and NSP4 genotype B. G3 rotaviruses were differentiated into eight electropherotypes, among which seven types were found in specimens from both adults and children. VP7 gene sequences of G3 rotaviruses from adults and children (6 and 4 strains, respectively), detected in different years and different hospitals, showed extremely high sequence identities (99–100%) to each other and to a few G3 rotavirus strains reported in Asia. However, lower sequence identities (82–96%) were observed to most of the human and animal G3 rotaviruses reported so far, including some Chinese strains. These findings indicate that in Wuhan, China, epidemic and genetic features of rotaviruses are similar in adults and children, and it has been suggested that G3 rotaviruses that might have originated from the same rotavirus were circulating among children and adults as prevailing viruses. In this study, two rotavirus strains, G9P(8) strain L169, derived from an adult, and G4P(6) strain R479, derived from a child, were isolated and genetically analyzed. The VP7 gene of L169 belongs to a major lineage of G9 rotaviruses that are globally widespread, but is distinct from G9 rotaviruses reported previously in China. The strain R479 had a VP7 gene which was divergent from most G4 human rotaviruses and showed an unusual dual subgroup specificity, I + II. The R479 VP6 gene does not belong to the main clusters of subgroup I and II rotaviruses phylogenetically, but is related to those of the porcine rotaviruses and some unusual human rotaviruses represented by the RMC321 strain isolated in eastern India.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 1, 2007
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