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J Health Popul Nutr. 2000 Jun;18(1):5-14.

Rotavirus serotypes: classification and importance in epidemiology, immunity, and vaccine development.

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Epidemiology Section, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


The development and implementation of safe and effective vaccines to prevent the enormous health burden of rotavirus-associated disease is a global public health goal. Human rotaviruses, the major aetiological agents of severe infantile diarrhoea worldwide, display surprisingly diverse and complex serotypic specificities. Ten VP7 serotypes and 7 VP4 serotypes have so far been detected. An increasing number of observations, obtained from analyses of (i) natural rotavirus infections in infants and young children, (ii) experimental rotavirus infections in laboratory animals, and (iii) extensive rotavirus vaccine field trials performed in different populations of various parts of the world, appears to support the concept that serotype-specific antibodies to rotaviruses play an important role in protection against rotavirus-associated illnesses. Thus, the first licensed rotavirus vaccine (RRV-based quadrivalent vaccine) was designed to cover the epidemiologically important VP7 serotype 1, 2, 3, and 4.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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