The molecular epidemiology of rotavirus strains causing gastroenteritis in infant in the region of Mid Iraq


Rotavirus diarrhea is a leading cause of child death. It is a major concern in developing and developed countries. In Iraq, few studies and analysis were executed for genetic assessment of rotavirus.The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of rotavirus caused gastroenteritis and identify the distribution of the circulating G and P types of rotavirus among infants admitted to the hospital or treated as outpatients in three governorates in the region of Mid-Iraq for symptoms of gastroenteritis.This study was undertaken during the period from June 2010 to April 2012 in infants under 1 year suffering from acute gastroenteritis. Group A rotaviruses were detected in stools by latex agglutination test and genotyped using semi nested multiplex reverse transcription PCRs with type-specific primers on the basis of their outer capsid proteins.Of the 348 stool specimens from infants with acute gastroenteritis, 42.45% were positive for rotavirus A. The predominant G type was G1 (48.57%), followed by G2 (22.14%), G9 (11.42%), G3 (2.14%), G4 (0.71%). Only P [8] (61.4%), P [4] (11.4%) and P [6] (5.7%) genotypes were found. Infants of 9 and 10 months of age were most frequently affected. The prevalence of rotavirus infection peaked in the Autumn season, when temperatures were low, and decreased in summer. Epidemiological knowledge of rotavirus is critical for the development of effective preventive measures, including vaccines. These data will help to make informed decisions as to whether rotavirus vaccine should be considered for inclusion in Iraqi National Immunization Program.