Rotavirus in diarrheal children in rural Burkina Faso : high prevalence of genotype G6P[6].

Nordgren J, Bonkoungou IJ, Nitiema LW, Sharma S, Ouermi D, Simpore J, Barro N, Svensson L.

Infect Genet Evol. 2012 Dec ;12(8):1892-8. doi : 10.1016/j.meegid.2012.08.014. Epub 2012 Sep 3.

PMID : 22964045 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE] ; ;


Group A rotavirus (RVA) is the most common cause of severe gastroenteritis in young children globally, and responsible for a significant number of deaths in African countries. While vaccines are available, trials have shown a lesser efficacy in Africa. One of the reasons could be the prevalence and/or emergence of unusual or novel RVA strains, as many strains detected in African countries remain uncharacterized. In this study, we characterized RVA positive specimens from two remote rural areas in Burkina Faso, West Africa. In total 56 RVA positive specimens were subgrouped by their VP6 gene, and G-and P typed by PCR and/or sequencing of the VP7 and VP4 genes, respectively. Notably, we found a high prevalence of the unusual G6P[6]SGI strains (23%). It was the second most common constellation after G9P[8]SGII (32%) ; and followed by G1P[8]SGII (20%) and G2P[4]SGI (9%). We also detected a G8P[6]SGI strain, for the first time in Burkina Faso. The intra-genetic diversity was high for the VP4 gene with two subclusters within the P[8] genotype and three subclusters within the P[6] genotype which were each associated with a specific G-type, thereby suggesting a genetic linkage. The G6P[6]SGI and other SGI RVA strains infected younger children as compared to SGII strains (p<0.05). To conclude, in this study we observed the emergence of unusual RVA strains and high genetic diversity of RVA in remote rural areas of Burkina Faso. The results highlight the complexity of RVA epidemiology which may have implication for the introduction of rotavirus vaccines currently being evaluated in many African countries.

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