Serologic and molecular characterization of rotavirus from children with acute gastroenteritis in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Ponnambalam Arun, Vidya Padmanabhan, K. Kaveri


Background: Rotavirus gastroenteritis is the leading cause of diarrhea in infants and young children worldwide. Although, Rotavirus vaccine has been introduced in 2017 in states like Tamil Nadu, there are reports of the role of Rotavirus as one of high disease burden agents with genetic variants arising, especially from low-income countries like India.

Methods: Authors evaluated stool samples from 507 children with acute gastroenteritis Rotavirus A among the hospitalized children (>5 years) to provide baseline information on changing profile in this state. The stool samples were collected and screened for Rotaviral Antigen by Enzyme Immuno Assay and use of semi-multiplex RT PCR technique was conceded out in order to conclude the P and G genotypes of human rotavirus in rotavirus-positive samples from January 2014 to December 2016 in and around Chennai, India.

Results: Of 507 samples collected 213 (42.01%) were positive for rotavirus antigen by Enzyme Immuno Assay (EIA). The maximum positivity (75%) was in the age group of one to two years. Rotavirus positives were subjected to further VP7 and VP4 molecular characterization and the predominant genotypes identified were G9P[4] followed by G9P[8], G1P[8], G3P[8], G2P[4] and mixed types of G2G9 with P[4] and G4P[6][11] with few untypable strains.

Conclusions: This study had demonstrated the Rota Virus Gastro Enteritis (RVGE) is a common disease affecting the pediatric population and G9P[4], G9P[8] circulating types among the gastroenteritis cases reported in the city and its suburban area. This study in comparison to previous ones shows that the dominant serotypes and circulating genotypes changes from time to time within country. The results have reemphasized the need of rotavirus vaccines with broad serotype coverage which may help in decreasing the disease burden in this region of the country.


Diarrhea, MDG-IV, Rota virus gastro enteritis, RT-PCR, VP4, VP7

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