Geographical Differences in the Proportion of Human Group A Rotavirus Strains Within New Zealand During One Epidemic Season
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The prospect of future rotavirus vaccine programs means it is important to understand rotavirus strain diversity within New Zealand, especially if this was to influence vaccine effectiveness. The G-genotype of 359 group A rotavirus strains isolated from 416 stool samples collected from June 2005 to May 2006 (inclusive) from children less than 5 years of age in multiple centers throughout New Zealand was determined. G1 was the dominant circulating strain (55.8%) followed by G4 (21.4%), G3 (3.4%), G9 (3.4%) G2 (1.0%), and mixed infection (1.0%). Two less common strains, G6 and G8, were identified for the first time in New Zealand. P genotypes were determined for a random 10% of samples containing the common G-type strains, and all samples with an unusual G-type. All samples able to be tested contained P bearing strains, except for G1P, G2P, and G8P strains. Importantly, significant differences in strain frequency were found between samples collected from the North and South Islands of New Zealand. G1 was the most commonly identified strain in the North Island (81.9%); whereas G4 predominated in the South Island (39.6%). Of note, no significant differences in the relative frequency of rotavirus strains were observed between samples collected from children treated in hospital compared to samples collected from children seen by their primary healthcare provider in the community. Regional strain variation highlights the importance of ensuring multi-center surveillance to help monitor program effectiveness when rotavirus vaccines are introduced into New Zealand's national childhood immunization schedule.
Journal of Medical Virology
Microbiology not elsewhere classified