A Geyer

University of Limpopo, Pietersburg, Limpopo, South Africa

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Publications (24)62.68 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: In an effort to reduce the high mortalities associated with rotavirus infections, a number of African countries are considering introducing human rotavirus vaccines. The demonstrated safety and efficacy of the live-attenuate human rotavirus vaccines in several clinical trials worldwide has accelerated such initiatives. Although the percentage-mortality rates for Sierra Leone are top of the list for rotavirus-associated deaths in Africa, no study has reported the prevalent strains circulating within this country. In this study, stool specimens were collected from 128 Sierra Leonean children presenting with diarrhea in 2005. Almost 37.5% (48/128) were rotavirus positive by EIA, of which 89.6% (43/48) revealed a short electropherotype, and a further 6.98% (3/48) could not be assigned a PAGE pattern. Genotyping analysis revealed G2P[4] (30.23%), G2P[6] (13.95%), G8P[6] (11.63%), G2P[8] (4.65%), G8P[4] (4.65%), and G8P[8] (2%) strains. About 11% were only assigned VP7 genotypes (G2), while 20.9% had mixed G and P types. The frequent detection of G2 rotaviruses could be of concern considering data generated from some studies that suggests lower efficacy of Rotarix® vaccine against G2 rotaviruses. This underscores the need for extensive and continuous regional strain surveillance to support rotavirus vaccines introduction and guide future vaccine development efforts. Such information will be useful before considering administration of specific rotavirus vaccine candidates in countries like Sierra Leone where little is known about circulating rotavirus strains.
    Journal of Medical Virology 03/2011; 83(3):540-50. · 2.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Global rotavirus surveillance has led to the detection of many unusual human rotavirus (HRV) genotypes. The aim of this study was to elucidate the genetic and evolutionary relationships of short fragments of all 11 gene segments of G10 HRV strains identified in West Africa through the African Rotavirus Network (ARN) system. During 1998-2004 surveillance within the ARN, we identified 5 G10 P[8] HRV strains. Fragments of all 11 gene segments of these G10 strains were sequenced. Phylogenetic and sequence analyses of each gene segment revealed high nucleotide similarities amongst the ARN strains (97-100%) except in the case of the VP1(85-96%) and NSP2 genes (87.8-99.7%) where some strains were divergent. All genes of the ARN strains were classified as Wa-like (genotype 1) with the exception of their VP7 gene of all strains (genotype G10) and the VP6 gene of a single strain, 6755/2002/ARN (DS-1 like, genotype 2). While classified as Wa-like, the NSP2 genes of four of the ARN strains occupied a distinct sub-lineage related to simian strain Tuch, while the NSP2 of strain 6755/2002/ARN and NSP5 genes of all strains were closely related to the cognate genes of both human and animal strains belonging to the Wa-like genogroup. Although these findings help to elucidate the evolution of ARN G10 strains, additional sequence studies of cognate animal rotavirus genes are needed to determine irrefutably the specific origin of those genes relative to both human and animal rotavirus strains.
    Infection, genetics and evolution: journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases 10/2010; 11(1):237-41. · 3.22 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rotavirus is considered to be the most common cause of serious acute dehydrating diarrhea worldwide. However, there is a scarcity of information on rotavirus disease burden in sub-Saharan Africa. We conducted prospective, hospital-based surveillance for rotavirus diarrhea among children <5 years of age at the tertiary care Dr. George Mukhari Hospital (DGM) and at the Brits district Hospital (BH) in the Gauteng and North West Provinces in South Africa; we estimated that up to 80% of children <5 years of age in their catchment areas who are hospitalized for diarrhea are admitted to one of these hospitals. At DGM, 2553 children <5 years of age were admitted for diarrhea from January 2003 through December 2005, and 852 children <5 years of age were treated for diarrhea at BH during 2004-2005. We examined stool specimens from 450 children (53%) at BH and from 1870 children (73%) admitted to DGM. An estimated 22.8% (95% confidence interval [CI], 21.2%-24.5%) of the children hospitalized with diarrhea at DGM were rotavirus positive, and the corresponding figure at BH was 18.2% (95% CI, 14.9%-22.1%). Among children <5 years of age admitted to DGM for any reason, an estimated 5.5% (95% CI, 5.1%-6.0%) had rotavirus diarrhea. Our incidence estimates suggest that 1 in 43-62 children in the area is likely to be hospitalized with rotavirus diarrhea by 2 years of age. Prevention of serious rotavirus illness by vaccination will substantially reduce not only the disease burden among young children but also the case load in South African health care facilities.
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 09/2010; 202 Suppl:S131-8. · 5.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rotavirus infection is the most common cause of severe dehydrating gastroenteritis in infants and young children and remains a significant clinical problem worldwide. The severity and the burden of rotavirus disease could be reduced through the implementation of an effective vaccine. The aim of this study was to characterize rotavirus strains circulating in the local community as part of an ongoing hospital burden of disease study when a G1P[8] rotavirus vaccine candidate was being evaluated in the same community. From 2003 through 2006, 729 rotavirus-positive stool specimens were collected from children <5 years of age who were treated for diarrhea at Dr George Mukhari Hospital, Ga-Rankuwa, South Africa. Molecular characterization of the strains was performed by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and genotyping of the VP4 and VP7 alleles using well-established seminested multiplex reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction methods. In 2003, 62% of strains exhibited the short rotavirus electropherotype, and the most common rotavirus strain was G2P[4]. In subsequent years, predominant rotavirus strains included G1P[8] and G1P[6] in 2004, G3P[8] and G3P[6] in 2005, and G1P[8] in 2006. For the 4 years of the study, rotavirus strains with P[6] genotype were detected in 25% of all rotavirus-positive specimens. In addition, unusual G12P[6] and G8 strains were detected at a low frequency. These results reflect the diversity of rotavirus strains circulating in South African communities.
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 09/2010; 202 Suppl:S139-47. · 5.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Serotype G9 strains have been detected sporadically and in localized outbreaks in various African countries, including South Africa, Botswana, Malawi, Kenya, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Libya, and Mauritius. Serotype G9 strains were analyzed to investigate genogroup characteristics, including subgroup specificity, electropherotype, and P and G genotypes. In addition, the antigenic composition of the South African G9 strains was assessed. African G9 strains were associated with both DS-1-like characteristics and Wa-like characteristics, indicating the predisposition of G9 strains to frequently reassort. Despite these reassortment events, serotype G9 strains appear to maintain antigenic character in the outer capsid protein, as evident with the reaction of the South African G9 strains with the G9-specific monoclonal antibody F45:1. Phylogenetic analysis clustered African G9 strains geographically, regardless of genogroup characteristics, into 1 lineage (IIId). Two groups of G9 strains, originating in India and Japan, were identified in this lineage. Continuous surveillance of circulating rotavirus strains in Africa is vital to prepare for future vaccine implementation on a continent that clearly needs such preventative medicines.
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 09/2010; 202 Suppl:S55-63. · 5.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A total of 215 nontypeable rotavirus samples collected from children <5 years of age by members of the African Rotavirus Network were characterized using reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction analysis and sequencing. The most predominant strain identified was P[8]G1 (46.9%). Genotypes P[8]G10, P[8]G8, P[6]G8, and P[7]G5 were also detected at frequencies varying from 0.5% to 2.3%. This study suggests that reassortment of unusual G types into a background of globally common genotype P[8] strains may be a major mechanism of generating rotavirus diversity. Nucleotide substitutions at the P[8], P[6], and G1 primer binding sites accounted for the failure to type these strains initially. Hence, these findings highlight the need for regular evaluation of rotavirus genotyping methods.
    The Journal of Infectious Diseases 09/2010; 202 Suppl:S49-54. · 5.85 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Global rotavirus surveillance has led to the detection of many unusual human rotavirus (HRV) genotypes. During 1996-2004 surveillance within the African Rotavirus Network (ARN), six P[8],G8 and two P[6],G8 human rotavirus strains were identified. Gene fragments (RT-PCR amplicons) of all 11-gene segments of these G8 strains were sequenced in order to elucidate their genetic and evolutionary relationships. Phylogenetic and sequence analyses of each gene segment revealed high similarities (88-100% nt and 91-100% aa) for all segments except for gene 4 encoding VP4 proteins P[8] and P[6]. For most strains, almost all of the genes of the ARN strains other than neutralizing antigens are related to typical human strains of Wa genogroup. The VP7, NSP2, and NSP5 genes were closely related to cognate genes of animal strains (83-99% and 97-99% aa identity). This study suggests that the ARN G8 strains might have arisen through VP7 or VP4 gene reassortment events since most of the other gene segments resemble those of common human rotaviruses. However, VP7, NSP2 (likely), and NSP5 (likely) genes are derived potentially from animals consistent with a zoonotic introduction. Although these findings help elucidate rotavirus evolution, sequence studies of cognate animal rotavirus genes are needed to conclusively determine the specific origin of those genes relative to both human and animal rotavirus strains.
    Journal of Medical Virology 06/2009; 81(5):937-51. · 2.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report characterization of a genotype G5P[7] human rotavirus (HRV) from a child in Cameroon who had diarrhea. Sequencing of all 11 gene segments showed similarities to > or =5 genes each from porcine and human rotaviruses. This G5P[7] strain exemplifies the importance of heterologous animal rotaviruses in generating HRV genetic diversity through reassortment.
    Emerging Infectious Diseases 02/2009; 15(1):83-6. · 6.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recent estimates attribute 527,000 deaths in children less than five years of age to rotavirus diarrhea annually, with 145,000 occurring in sub-Saharan Africa. Human astroviruses have been identified as one of the most frequent causes of infantile diarrhea, second in incidence only to rotavirus. This study was conducted to determine the prevalence of rotavirus and astrovirus and also to establish the circulating strains of rotavirus in a community in Nigeria where most diarrheic patients do not visit clinics or health care centers. A total of 154 stool samples (134 diarrheic and 20 non-diarrheic) were collected from infants and young children less than 5 years of age from January-March 2002. Samples were obtained by house-to-house visit in randomly selected districts in Zaria, Northwestern Nigeria. The samples were screened for rotavirus and astrovirus antigens using commercially available Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) kits. All positive group A rotavirus samples were further subjected to VP6 sub-group ELISA, Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) to determine their RNA electropherotypes and Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to determine their VP7 and VP4 genotypes. Rotavirus and astrovirus antigens were detected in 9% (12) and 5% (7) of the 134 diarrheic stool samples respectively. No viral antigen was detected in the non-diarrheic stools. Rotavirus infection was more common in younger children than astrovirus infection. VP6 sub-group II specificity (58.3%), long RNA electropherotypes (41.6%), VP7 genotype G1 (33.3%) and VP4 genotype P [6] (33.3%) were the most common strains in circulation at that time in the community. Of significance is the fact that a large proportion of the rotavirus strains in circulation could not be assigned either a VP6 subgroup or RNA electrophoretic pattern probably as a result of low viral load. In this community-based study, rotavirus and astrovirus were significantly associated with diarrhea. However, the prevalence of rotavirus infection among children appears to be low while that of astrovirus falls in the range seen in hospital-based studies around the continent.
    Annals of African medicine 01/2009; 7(4):168-74.
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    ABSTRACT: Intussusception (IS) is a form of intestinal obstruction in which a segment of the bowel prolapses into a more distal segment. Viral infections, mostly adenovirus, enteroviruses, human herpesvirus and Epstein-Barr virus are reported in 20-50% of childhood cases of IS. Between January and July 2004, six stool specimens collected from infants 0- to 8-months old diagnosed and admitted for IS were investigated for the presence of rotavirus, astrovirus and adenovirus antigens. Astrovirus antigen was detected in three of the six stool specimens by enzyme immune assay (EIA) and confirmed in two specimens by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Rotavirus, non-enteric adenovirus and astrovirus were detected by EIA, as mixed infections in a single specimen. The rotavirus strain revealed a SGI+II, mixed G1G2G8P[6] genotype and had no visible electrophoretic profile. A larger study is needed to determine the extent of involvement of astroviruses in IS in infants and the virus should be included in studies investigating the aetiology of IS.
    Journal of Tropical Pediatrics 01/2009; 55(3):192-4. · 1.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An epidemiological survey investigating rotavirus infections in children was undertaken in the Eastern Center of Tunisia between January 1995 and December 2004. A total of 982 faecal specimens collected from children less than 5 years in age were screened by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) or latex agglutination assay for the presence of group A rotavirus antigen. Rotavirus-positive samples were used for G and P typing by multiplex semi-nested reverse transcription-PCR. Rotaviruses were detected in 22% (n = 220) of stools. Of these, 164 were typed for VP7: G genotypes found were G1 (59%), G2 (2%), G3 (9%), G4 (10%), G8 (1%), and G9 (1%). Sixteen specimens (9%) showed mixed G profiles. A total of 119 specimens were typed for VP4. P genotypes detected were P[8] (32%), P[6] (15%), and P[4] (13%). Mixed P profiles were also detected (6%). Although the distribution of the detected genotypes appeared to change annually, G1P[8] rotavirus strains always predominated during the 10-year period of study. This is the first report of rotaviruses in Tunisia with unconventional VP7 serotypes such as G8 and G9, highlighting the need for continual surveillance of emerging strains in Northern Africa. Indeed, the new commercial vaccines only contain the VP7 genes that dictate G1 or G1 to G4 specificities. These vaccines may protect less well against unusual strains circulating in countries planning to implement a rotavirus vaccine strategy.
    Journal of Medical Virology 08/2007; 79(7):1002-8. · 2.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Viral diarrhea remains a major cause of childhood morbidity and mortality worldwide. In Tunisia, no comprehensive studies of all viral agents related to diarrhea in children have yet been conducted. The present study was performed to investigate the role of enteric viruses in acute diarrhea in the country. Six hundred thirty-eight stool samples were collected from children under 5 years of age seeking medical care for acute diarrhea between October 2003 and September 2005 in hospitals from the Eastern-Center Tunisia. All samples were tested for rotavirus, astrovirus, and adenovirus using commercial antigen enzyme immunoassays (EIAs). Positive samples for rotavirus and astrovirus were confirmed by an "in-house" reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Samples positive for adenovirus antigen were subjected to further EIA screening for species F enteric adenovirus types 40 and 41. At least one viral agent was found in 30% of the specimens. The frequency of rotavirus, astrovirus, and adenovirus was 20%, 7%, and 6%, respectively. Of the stool samples containing adenovirus, 57% (20/35) were found to be positive for species F adenovirus types 40/41. Dual infections were found in 9% (17/191) of the positive samples. Enteric viruses appear to play an important role in pediatric diarrhea in Tunisia. The introduction of affordable viral diagnosis in pediatric hospitals will improve patient care by reducing the unnecessary use of antibiotics.
    Journal of Medical Virology 10/2006; 78(9):1198-203. · 2.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Faecal samples were collected from 89 dairy calves to determine the prevalence of rotavirus infection in Tunisia and the genomic diversity of bovine rotavirus strains. After screening of all faecal samples by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, rotavirus strains were analysed by RNA polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and characterized antigenically by monoclonal antibodies to the VP6 subgroup. The VP7 genotype was determined by nested RT-PCR. Of the 89 calves tested, 27 (30%) were positive for rotavirus antigen. Four different long electrophoretypes were identified. All VP6 typeable strains carried the subgroup I specificity. G8 genotype was the most prevalent, but G6 and mixed strains G(6 + 8) were also detected.
    Journal of Veterinary Medicine Series B 03/2005; 52(1):49-50. · 1.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rotavirus strains detected as part of ongoing strain surveillance in Cameroon, and whose first-round reverse transcription-PCR product could not be genotyped by using conventional genotyping primers, were subjected to sequence analysis for strain characterization. We detected for the first time in Africa a human rotavirus with G5 specificity. The Cameroonian G5 strain had a short electrophoretic pattern and was of VP6 subgroup I specificity and a VP4 P[8] type. The VP7 gene shared a higher nucleic acid and amino acid homology with the porcine G5 strain CC117 (90 and 96%, respectively) than with human G5 strain IAL-28 (86 and 92%, respectively). Phylogenetic analysis showed Cameroonian strain MRC3105 clustered together in the same lineage as two other reported porcine G5 strains. The Cameroonian G5 strain, the first to be reported in humans outside of Latin America, may be a natural reassortant between animal and human rotavirus strains.
    Journal of Clinical Microbiology 02/2004; 42(1):441-4. · 4.07 Impact Factor
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    Journal of Clinical Microbiology 03/2003; 41(2):913-4. · 4.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Rotavirus infection is associated with acute infantile gastroenteritis in infants and young children globally. In South Africa, rotavirus infection has been shown to be associated with approximately one-quarter of all diarrhoeal admissions to hospital. Rotavirus infection predominantly occurs in infants less than 12 months of age (75%) and has a peak of shedding during the cooler, drier months of the year. A secondary peak during the spring has been observed. Multiple infections with rotavirus and at least one other microbial agent are common. The circulating VP7 serotypes and VP4 genotypes have been determined in various regions of South Africa and show a geographic specific distribution. A decade previously, P[8]G1 or G4 strains predominated, and P[4]G2 strains occurred in an epidemic pattern in one region. More recently, rotavirus strains with P[6] genotype have become common and novel VP7/VP4 genotype combinations are occurring across the country. G9 strains have been reported from Cape Town to Vendaland. The circulating rotavirus types observed in this study add to the knowledge of the natural history of rotavirus infection and provide the groundwork to consider future vaccine strategies.
    Vaccine 02/2003; 21(5-6):354-60. · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: An epidemiological survey investigating the prevalence of rotavirus infection in infants and young children with acute diarrhoea was undertaken in Jos State, Nigeria, between January 1998 and April 1999. In total, 672 faecal specimens were collected from children aged between 1 and 60 months with acute infantile gastroenteritis. The 10-20% stool suspensions were examined by an ELISA for the presence of group A rotavirus antigen (Rotavirus IDEIA, Dako, UK). Only 116 specimens (17.3%) were positive for the group A rotavirus antigen detected by this ELISA. The rotavirus-positive specimens were analysed with monoclonal antibodies specific for rotavirus VP6 subgroup I and II, and for VP7 serotypes G1-G4, G8, and G9. Of the rotavirus strains that could be subgrouped, VP6 subgroup I and II strains circulated at similar levels. Amongst the strains that could be serotyped, VP7 G9 strains predominated occurring in 17 cases, with G3 (n = 10) and G1 (n = 9) strains occurring in lower numbers. Four G8 strains were detected and only one G2 and no G4 strains were identified. This report extends the description of the global distribution of G9 rotavirus strains.
    Journal of Medical Virology 09/2002; 67(4):608-12. · 2.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The incidence of rotavirus at a pig farm in Gauteng was determined by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE). Faecal specimens were collected from 172 litters over a 6-month period. Rotavirus was detected in 37.8% of piglets exhibiting signs of scouring. When these PAGE patterns were examined, 84.6% group A, 4.6% group B and 10.8% group C rotaviruses were observed. A few specimens subsequently collected from other farms in the Gauteng. North-West and Northern Provinces also contained group B and C electropherotypes. This is the first report of group B and group C rotaviruses in the South African pig population.
    Journal of the South African Veterinary Association 10/1996; 67(3):115-6.
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    ABSTRACT: Diarrhoea in the piglet can lead to stunted growth and neonatal death, with important implications for the pig farmer. During 1993, a pilot study was initiated to monitor the epidemiology of rotavirus infection in piglets with diarrhoea. Bimonthly diarrhoeal faecal specimens were collected from scouring piglets less than 6 weeks of age on a pig farm in the Northern Transvaal. The stool specimens were examined by a commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (Rotavirus EIA, IDL, Jerusalem). In total, rotavirus antigen was detected in 24% of the litters by the ELISA, which is directed at the group A rotavirus antigen. Rotavirus was found to occur throughout the year and predominantly in piglets 4 weeks old. Polyacrylamide electrophoretic analysis of the viral RNA genomes showed the presence of four distinct strains of Group A rotaviruses circulating on this farm. This study highlights the natural diversity of rotavirus strains circulating on a single farm and may indicate the importance of rotavirus infection in piglets with diarrhoea in South Africa.
    Journal of the South African Veterinary Association 01/1996; 66(4):202-5.
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    ABSTRACT: Faecal specimens from 1- to 7-week-old piglets (n = 251) with acute diarrhoeal illness were examined by direct negative staining electron microscopy for the presence of viral agents. Rotaviruses were observed in almost 40% of cases while adenoviruses and astroviruses were also observed in 3 specimens each. The majority of the rotaviruses reacted with a commercial Group A rotavirus ELISA although in 11 specimens they did not react with the Group A antigen and could represent atypical rotaviruses. This is the first report of adenoviruses and astroviruses in diarrhoeal faecal specimens from pigs in South Africa.
    Journal of the South African Veterinary Association 01/1995; 65(4):164-6.