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J Infect Dis. 2010 Sep 1;202 Suppl:S148-55. doi: 10.1086/653561.

Prevalence and diversity of rotavirus strains in children with acute diarrhea from rural communities in the Limpopo Province, South Africa, from 1998 to 2000.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, University of Venda, Thohoyandou, Limpopo Province, South Africa.



Data regarding the prevalence and molecular epidemiology of rotavirus infection in rural areas of Africa are limited. In this study the prevalence and genetic diversity of rotaviruses in a rural South African setting were investigated.


During June 1998 to June 2000, 420 stool specimens were collected from children with acute diarrhea who visited primary health care clinics in the rural Vhembe region, Limpopo Province, South Africa. Group A rotaviruses were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and the G and P types were determined by reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction.


Of the 420 specimens, 111 (26.4%) were positive for group A rotavirus; P[6]G1 strains predominated (32.4%), followed by P[8]G1 (13.5%), P[6]G9 (4.5%), P[4]G8 (3.6%), P[4]G1 (3.6%), P[6]G8 (3.6%), and P[6]G2 (2.7%). Dual infections, with >1 P type, were seen in 33 (37.1%) of the positive specimens.


The unusual serotype and genotype combinations of rotavirus circulating in the rural communities of the Limpopo Province highlight the need for more studies to monitor the geographic distribution of rotavirus strains in rural African settings.

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