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J Clin Microbiol. 2008 Apr;46(4):1185-91. doi: 10.1128/JCM.02244-07. Epub 2008 Jan 30.

Molecular epidemiology of rotavirus diarrhea among children in Saudi Arabia: first detection of G9 and G12 strains.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Liverpool, Duncan Building, Daulby Street, Liverpool L69 3GA, United Kingdom.


In anticipation of rotavirus vaccine introduction in Saudi Arabia, this study was undertaken to determine the distribution of the G and P genotypes of rotaviruses in order to examine whether there was any emerging serotype or unusual strain circulating in children in Saudi Arabia. Of 984 stool specimens collected between 17 April 2004 and 16 April 2005, rotavirus was detected by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay in 187 (19%) diarrheal children less than 5 years of age. Of these, 160 (86%) were classified into G and P genotypes as follows: G1P[8] (44%), G2P[4] (20%), G9P[8] (11%), G12P[8] (4%), and G3P[8] (4%). RNA polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis identified 94 (50%) specimens as long RNA patterns, 30 (16%) specimens as short RNA patterns, and 1 mixed infection. Only a single long RNA electropherotype was identified for seven specimens containing G12P[8] rotavirus. RNA-RNA hybridization demonstrated that the G12P[8] strains were similar in their genomic constellation to locally cocirculating strains and to a Nepalese G12P[8] strain. The Saudi Arabian G12 VP7 gene had a 99% nucleotide sequence identity with Nepalese and Indian G12 VP7 genes and belonged to the third lineage. This study is the first to describe the distribution of rotavirus G and P types and also the first to identify G9P[8] and G12P[8] strains in the country.

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