Author(s): Santos N, Hoshino Y
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Abstract A safe and effective rotavirus vaccine is urgently needed, particularly in developing countries. Critical to vaccine development and implementation is a knowledge base concerning the epidemiology of rotavirus G and P serotypes/genotypes throughout the world. The temporal and geographical distribution of human rotavirus G and P types was reviewed by analysing a total of 45571 strains collected globally from 124 studies reported from 52 countries on five continents published between 1989 and 2004. Four common G types (G1, G2, G3 and G4) in conjunction with P or P represented over 88\% of the strains analysed worldwide. In addition, serotype G9 viruses associated with P or P were shown to have emerged as the fourth globally important G type with the relative frequency of 4.1\%. When the global G and/or P type distributions were divided into five continents/subcontinents, several characteristic features emerged. For example, the PG1 represented over 70\% of rotavirus infections in North America, Europe and Australia, but only about 30\% of the infections in South America and Asia, and 23\% in Africa. In addition, in Africa (i) the relative frequency of G8 was as high as that of the globally common G3 or G4, (ii) P represented almost one-third of all P types identified and (iii) 27\% of the infections were associated with rotavirus strains bearing unusual combinations such as PG8 or PG8. Furthermore, in South America, uncommon G5 virus appeared to increase its epidemiological importance among children with diarrhea. Such findings have (i) confirmed the importance of continued active rotavirus strain surveillance in a variety of geographical settings and (ii) provided important considerations for the development and implementation of an effective rotavirus vaccine (e.g. a geographical P-G type adjustment in the formulation of next generation multivalent vaccines). 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
This article was published in Rev Med Virol
and referenced in Journal of Vaccines & Vaccination