Evolution of group A Rotavirus strains circulating in Tunisia over a 3-year period (2005-2007)
ABSTRACT Rotaviruses are the most frequent agents associated with diarrhoea in children worldwide. Analysis of mobility of the 11 segments of genomic RNA by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) yields a pattern which is characteristic for a particular rotavirus isolate. The group A rotaviruses can be further characterized by analysis of VP7 and VP4 genes specificities, responsible for rotavirus classification into G and P genotypes, respectively. The aim of the present study was to determine the evolution of group A Rotavirus strains circulating in Tunisia over a 3-year period (2005-2007).
A total of 1503 stool samples collected from children less than five years old, consulting or hospitalised in Tunisia for diarrhoea between 2005 and 2007, were screened for the presence of group A Rotaviruses. Rotavirus-positive specimens were further analyzed by PAGE and G/P-genotyped by multiplex semi-nested RT-PCR.
Rotaviruses were detected in 323 stool samples over 1503 (21 %). Long electropherotypes predominated in Tunisia during the whole period of study (N=158 vs N=82 short electropherotypes). VP7 genotyping showed the cocirculation of five different genotypes: G1, G2, G3, G4 and G9. VP4 typing detected four different P-genotypes: P, P, P and P. Rotavirus strains with G3P specificity were predominating in Tunisia in 2005 and 2006, replaced by G2P strains in 2007.
- SourceAvailable from: Mahjoub Aouni
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- "A total of 435 faecal specimens were tested for rotavirus and 27.6% were positive. These results are consistent with previous findings on rotavirus prevalence in Tunisia (21% and 22.5%) [11,12]. Similar proportions (16% to 23%) of rotavirus gastroenteritis were found in different Arab countries like Saudi Arabia [13-17] and Egypt [18-21], but this is lower than the prevalence of rotavirus attained in Syria (61%) , Oman (50%)  and Kuwait (44%) . "
ABSTRACT: Rotavirus infection is the most common cause of severe, dehydrating, gastroenteritis among children worldwide. In developing countries, approximately 1440 children die from rotavirus infections each day, with an estimated 527,000 annually. In infants, rotavirus is estimated to cause more than 2 million hospitalizations every year depending on the income level of the country. The purpose of this study was to estimate the proportion of rotavirus gastroenteritis and identify the distribution of circulating G and P genotype rotavirus strains among children consulting several dispensaries in the region of Monastir (outpatients departments) or admitted to Monastir University Hospital (inpatients department) with acute gastroenteritis. This study was undertaken during a 3-year period from April 2007 to April 2010 in Tunisian children under 13 suffering from acute gastroenteritis. Group A rotaviruses were detected in stools by ELISA and genotyped using multiplex reverse transcription PCRs with type-specific primers on the basis of their outer capsid proteins. Statistical analyses were performed with SPSS software, version 19. Of the 435 stool samples from children with acute gastroenteritis, 27.6% were positive for rotavirus A. The predominant G type was G1 (37.5%), followed by G3 (25%), G2 (17.5%), G4 (12.5%), G9 (2.5%) and three mixed-G infections G3G4 (2.5%) were identified. Only P (80.8%), P (16.7%) and P (0.8%) genotypes were found. The predominant single G/P combination was G1P (37.5%), followed by G3P (25%), G2P (16.7%), G4P (12.5%), G9P (1.7%) and one case of the unusual combination G9P (0.8%). The G-mixed types G3G4 combined with P (2.5%). Infants less than 3 months of age were most frequently affected. The prevalence of rotavirus infection peaked in the winter season, when temperatures were low, and decreased in summer. Rotavirus gastroenteritis is a common disease associated with significant morbidity, mortality, and economic burden. 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 Tunisia's National Immunisation Programme.BMC Infectious Diseases 10/2011; 11(1):266. DOI:10.1186/1471-2334-11-266 · 2.61 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Non-structural protein 4 (NSP4), encoded by group A rotavirus (RVA) genome segment 10, is a multifunctional protein and the first recognized virus-encoded enterotoxin. Recently, a new classification system for RVAs was proposed and a total of 14 NSP4 genotypes (E1-E14) are currently described. The most common NSP4 genotypes in humans are Wa-like E1 and DS-1-like E2. This report represents the first investigation on the genetic diversity of RVA NSP4 genes in Tunisia from 2006 to 2008. In the present study, the NSP4-encoding genes of human RVA strains with different G/P-genotype combinations were analyzed. NSP4 genes of 261 RVA-positive fecal samples were analyzed using a semi-nested reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and in addition the NSP4 gene of 46 representative RVA strains were sequenced. Phylogenetic analysis of the Tunisian NSP4 nucleotide sequences revealed the presence of two NSP4 genotypes. Genotype E1 was found to be associated with G1P, G3P, G3P, G4P and G4P, whereas genotype E2 was associated with G2P, G2P and G6P samples. These results support the hypothesis that P carrying RVA strains usually possess the E1 genotype, whereas P carrying RVA strains usually possess the E2 genotype. P carrying strains were found with both E1 and E2. The unusual G6P strains possessed a E2 genotype with a possible animal origin. These results underline the need for further investigations to assess the validity of NSP4 as a suitable target for epidemiologic surveillance of RVA infections and vaccine development.Infection, genetics and evolution: journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases 03/2012; 12(5):997-1004. DOI:10.1016/j.meegid.2012.02.011 · 3.02 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Group A rotaviruses (RVA) are the leading cause of severe gastroenteritis in infants and young children worldwide. Due to their epidemiological complexity, it is important to compare the genetic characteristics of vaccine strains with the RVA strains circulating before the introduction of the vaccine in the Tunisian immunization program. In the present study, the nucleotide sequences of VP7 and VP8∗ (n=31), the main targets for neutralizing antibodies, were determined. Comparison of antigenic epitopes of 11 G1P, 12 G2P, 4 G3P, 2 G4P, 1 G6P and 1 G12P RVA strains circulating in Tunisia from 2006 to 2011 with the RVA strains present in licensed vaccines showed that multiple amino acid differences existed in or near putative neutralizing domains of VP7 and VP8∗. The Tunisian G3 RVA strains were found to possess a potential extra N-linked glycosylation site. The Tunisian G4 RVA were closely related to the G4 vaccine strain in RotaTeq, belonging to the same lineage, but the alignment of their VP7 amino acids revealed an insertion of an asparagine residue at position 76 which is close to a glycosylation site (aa 69-71). Despite several differences detected between Tunisian and vaccine strains, which may affect binding of neutralizing antibodies, both vaccines are known to protect against the vast majority of the circulating genotypes, providing an indication of the high vaccine efficiency that can be expected in a future rotavirus immunization program.Infection, genetics and evolution: journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases 05/2013; 18. DOI:10.1016/j.meegid.2013.05.008 · 3.02 Impact Factor