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J Med Virol. 2006 Aug;78(8):1119-23.

Association of the G4 rotavirus genotype with gastroenteritis in adults.

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Regional Virus Laboratory, Royal Hospitals Trust, Belfast, Northern Ireland.


Rotavirus is the most common etiological cause of acute viral gastroenteritis in infants and young children worldwide, yet its role in the adult population is less well understood. We have recently identified rotavirus as the causative agent of severe diarrhea in adults, specifically in two gastroenteritis outbreaks in separate care for the elderly homes. Strain typing has shown the continued presence of P[8]G1, the emergence of P[8]G9, and the reemergence of P[8]G4. A total of 26 community cases and 6 outbreak cases of rotavirus infection, positive via a molecular screening assay, were subsequently amplified using VP4 and VP7 specific primers (Con2/Con3 and 1A/1B primer sets, respectively). The age range of patients investigated was from <1 year to 89 years. The resulting PCR products were cloned into TOPO10 PCR IV vector and sequenced to give the P- and G-type accordingly. All sequence data were subjected to BLAST analysis. Three different rotavirus types P[8]G1, P[8]G4, and P[8]G9 were identified. Types P[8]G1 and P[8]G9 were identified as circulating within the community, whereas the third type P[8]G4 was identified only in an elderly care outbreak. The identification of G9 rotaviruses supports evidence of emergence of the genotype on a global scale.

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