ESPID Education. de ROUGEMONT A. Jun 7, 2011; 7683 Disclosure(s): This study was supported by Sanofi-Pasteur-MSD (Lyon, France), the European Rotavirus Network (EuroRotaNet), the University Hospital of Dijon and the National Reference Center for enteric viruses.
Dr. Alexis de ROUGEMONT
Dr. Alexis de ROUGEMONT

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Background and aims: Rotaviruses are the major cause of acute gastroenteritis in young children worldwide, and require careful surveillance, especially in the context of vaccination programs (current vaccination coverage is under 10% in France). Prospective surveillance is required to monitor and characterize rotavirus infections, including viral and clinical data, and to detect the emergence of potentially epidemic strains.

Methods: Between 2006 and 2010, stool samples and clinical records were collected form 2727 children under 5 years old with acute diarrhea admitted to the pediatric emergency units of 15 French large public hospitals. Rotaviruses were detected, then genotyped by RT-PCR for P (VP4) and G (PV7) types.

Results: The genotyping of 2630 rotaviruses showed that G1 strains (62.9%) were predominant, G9 (23.0%) were decreasing, G2 (9.1%) were very changing, and G3 (4.1%) and G4 (2.5%) circulated locally. Most strains were associated with P[8] (91.2%). Overall, 63 uncommon strains or possible zoonotic reassortants were detected including G12 and G8 rotaviruses, some being closely related to bovine strains. No difference in clinical presentation and severity was found among genotypes.

Conclusions: In spite of the fluctuation of G2 strains, the relative stability of rotavirus genotypes detected in France may ensure vaccine effectiveness in the short and medium terms. Moreover, the likely emergence of G12 and G8 strains should be monitored during ongoing and future vaccination programs, especially as all genotypes can cause severe infections. Special attention should be paid to the emergence of new rotavirus reassortants not included in current rotavirus vaccines.
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