Genotype G3P of rotavirus A (RVA) is detected worldwide, usually associated with Wa-like constellation and exhibiting a long RNA migration pattern. More recently, a novel inter-genogroup, G3P reassortant variant with a short electropherotype, has emerged in Asia, Oceania and Europe, denoting an overall potential of unusual rotavirus strains. During a RVA surveillance in Brazil, G3P strains were found displaying a short electropherotype pattern, which had not been detected before in this region. This study aims to characterize the complete genome of 10 G3P strains detected in the northern region of Brazil. All G3P samples were subjected to partial sequencing, and the whole-genome phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that all strains possessed I2-R2-C2-M2-A2-N1-T2-E2-H2 genotype background, representing reassortants with an equine-like G3 VP7 and amino acid changes in VP4 and VP7 antigenic regions as compared to vaccine strains. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated high nucleotide identity in almost all RNA segments of G3P DS-1 samples detected in Asia, Oceania and Europe as well as G3P strains in Japan. This study reports a novel, equine-like G3P strain circulating in Brazil and isolated from children hospitalized for severe gastroenteritis, and highlights the complex dynamics of RVA molecular epidemiology. Our findings point to a novel RVA strain emerging in this region, and studies should be done to detect whether this may represent a challenge to current vaccine strategies.
Human rotaviruses from the states of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Pará of Brazil were analysed by RNA electrophoresis. At least some bands characteristic of rotavirus double-stranded RNA were detected in 138 (86.8%) of 159 faecal samples in which the presence of rotavirus had been demonstrated by enzyme immunoassay. Of the RNA-positive samples, 18 (13.0%) were classified as subgroup 1, 94 (68.1%) as subgroup 2, and 26 (18.8%) could not be classified due to absence of visible bands 10 and 11. Subgroup 2 was more frequent in the three states. All strains of subgroup 1 detected in Rio de Janeiro were associated with a single short-lived school outbreak. All strains of subgroup 1 resembled each other in electrophoretic pattern, irrespective of geographical origin, although minor differences could be detected by co-electrophoresis. Subgroup 2, on the other hand, showed a great degree of electrophoretic heterogeneity and could be divided into several sub-categories.
Although fully heterotypic G2P was the predominant RV strain, good VE was demonstrated. VE was highest in children aged 3 to 11 months. However, protection in children ≥ 12 months of age, important for optimal public health impact, was significantly sustained based on estimates obtained using neighborhood controls.
From December 1982 to March 1986 a group of 80 children between 0 and 3 years old who lived in the peripheral area of Belém, Brazil, were followed up for episodes of diarrhoea. A total of 441 diarrhoeal episodes were recorded and 36 (8.2%) were associated with rotavirus. This agent was the only pathogen in 50% of rotavirus-related episodes of acute diarrhoea, and strains were characterized by analysis of RNA in polyacrylamide gels. Forty-one belonged to subgroup II (long pattern) and five to subgroup I. Reinfections by rotavirus were noted in 12 children involving either the same or different subgroups. Ten distinct electrophoretypes were detected in the study period and the predominant one had the '1N2L' profile. The cumulative age-specific attack rate for diarrhoea reached 2.8 by the end of the first year of life; a frequency of 2.3 episodes of diarrhoea per child per year was observed throughout the complete investigation. In comparing the age-specific attack rates for diarrhoea between breast-fed and bottle-fed children, a peak at 6 months of age was noted in the former, and at 1 month in the latter. A comparison by Fischer's exact test (P = 0.21) provided no evidence for protection against clinical rotavirus disease by maternal milk. By the same test, however (P = 0.021), we found significant evidence that early rotavirus infections were more likely to be asymptomatic and that infections after 4 months were more likely to be symptomatic. The clinical picture in children with rotavirus-related diarrhoea was more severe than in those suffering from acute diarrhoea due to another agent.
Adenovirus 7 (Ad7) is the adenovirus species that most frequently has been associated with severe illness. Seven distinct genome types of adenovirus 7, Ad7p, Ad7a, Ad7b, Ad7c, Ad7d, Ad7e, and Ad7f, can be identified by using restriction endonucleases BamHI and SmaI. We analyzed the distribution of the different Ad7 genome types among 314 isolates from patients and healthy shedders. The Ad7b and Ad7c genome types accounted for 90% of the isolates from patients and appeared to be mutually exclusive. A shift from Ad7c to Ad7b genome types occurred in 1969 in Europe and in 1975 in Australia. During the last decade, Ad7b genome types predominated in Australia, Europe, and North America. Ad7c was detected in South Africa, Ad7d was detected in China, Ad7e was detected in Brazil, and Ad7f was detected in Australia. The Ad7p and Ad7a genome types dominated among isolates obtained from healthy shedders and appeared scattered through the years and the geographical areas. The prevalence of Ad7 infections is high in Japan as judged by the herd immunity. However, the low percentage (2%) of Adi isolates among all adenovirus isolates chiefly from patients, coupled with 30 to 50% antibody prevalence, argues for a high proportion of inapparent infections and, hence, Ad7 strain(s) of low pathogenicity.
The association between rotavirus serotypes and severity is not well established. Analysis of a clinical trial conducted in Latin America points at more-severe disease associated with serotype G9. Thus, demonstration of efficacy against G9 will be an important asset of any rotavirus vaccine to be introduced into a Latin American country or any country where G9 has been shown to be prevalent.
A total of 614 fecal specimens were obtained during a survey for rotavirus infection conducted between May 1996 and May 1998 among 437 newborns admitted to special care nurseries at a public hospital in the urban area of Belém, Brazil. Routine stool samples were taken weekly from all babies up to the age of 28 days. Overall, 51 (11.7%) of the neonates excreted rotaviruses while in hospital, of whom 42 (82.3%) developed asymptomatic nosocomial infection; nosocomial infection was also proved in five of the nine patients with diarrhea. Three distinct RNA profiles were detected, of which one short electropherotyping pattern was far more frequent ( approximately 90% of the strains). Using monoclonal antibody-based enzyme immunoassays, 32 (62.7%) of the rotavirus-positive strains were classified as G2, and 1 (1.9%) as mixed G1 and G2. A G serotype could not be assigned to 18 (35.3%) of the isolates. A reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction was used for determining the VP4 type-specificity of a subset of 28 rotavirus-positive samples. Characterization of the VP7-genotype specificity was also sought for 18 of these latter strains. Overall, P and G2 genotypes were identified in 93% and 94% of tested samples respectively, with results being further confirmed by Southern hybridization. Although surveillance was conducted during a 25-month period, 50 (98%) of 51 rotavirus isolates clustered between January and December 1997. The earliest [P6]G2 rotavirus infections were detected by late January 1997, involving two (13- and 14-day-old) babies admitted with acute diarrhea. Thereafter, strains bearing these genotype specificities were identified among five infants with hospital-acquired gastroenteritis, followed by 16 others who were infected asymptomatically. This is the first report from Brazil describing nosocomial transmission of PG2 rotavirus strains among neonates.
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