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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2003 Jul;69(7):3919-23.

Group A rotavirus in sewage samples from Barcelona and Cairo: emergence of unusual genotypes.

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Enteric Virus Group, Department of Microbiology, University of Barcelona, Avda. Diagonal 645, 08028 Barcelona, Spain.


The presence of rotavirus strains in sewage samples from Cairo, Egypt (November 1998 to October 1999), and Barcelona, Spain (November 1998 to December 2002), was investigated by using a generic molecular detection method based on amplification of a VP6 gene fragment. Overall, 85.7 and 66.9% of the sewage samples from Cairo and Barcelona, respectively, were positive. Positive samples were characterized further, and VP7 and VP4 genotypes were determined. Although 30% of the positive samples from Cairo were G untypeable, the distribution of G types in the positive samples was 69.6% G1, 13% G3, 8.7% G4, and 8.7% G9. The percentage of untypeable samples was much higher for the Barcelona samples (56.5%), and the distribution in the positive samples was 56.4% G1, 31.5% G3, 6% G9, 4% G2, and 2% G5. When the P types were examined, 26.7% of the positive samples from Cairo were untypeable, and the distribution of types in the positive samples was 53.3% P[8], 30% P[6], and 16.6% P[4]. In Barcelona, 27.2% of the samples were P untypeable, and the frequencies of the types detected were 49.7% P[8], 37.2% P[4], 8.8% P[6], and 4.2% P[9]. The distribution for strains from Cairo was 38.5% P[8]G1, 27% P[6]G1, 11.5% P[4]G1, 11.5% P[8]G3, 7.7% P[6]G4, and 3.8% P[8]G9. Strikingly, equivalent frequencies of common and uncommon strains were observed for Barcelona samples, and the distribution was 38.8% P[8]G1, 30.6% P[4]G1, 11.6% P[8]G3, 6.6% P[4]G3, 5.8% P[6]G1, 1.6% P[6]G3, 1.6% P[9]G1, 0.8% P[4]G2, 0.8% P[6]G9, 0.8% P[8]G9, and 0.8% P[8]G5. Additionally, two P[-]G5 strains were isolated in Barcelona, and the porcine or human origin of these strains was unclear. Rotavirus variability exhibited not only a geographic pattern but also a temporal pattern.

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