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Shift in genomic RNA patterns of human rotaviruses isolated from white children in South Africa

A.D. Steele


The molecular epidemiology of rotavirus infection in white children in Pretoria was investigated over a 2-year period. Rotalvirus-positive specimens from 322 infants and young children submitted to private patl1ology laboratories were analysed by polyacrylamide-gel electrophoresis of the viral RNA. A predominance of long RNA profiles occurred and a temporal shift in the genomic patterns was identified. An epidemic of the classic shorter RNA profiles (suggestive of sub-group I rotaviruses) was observed in the winter of 1987, although these viruses were found less frequently than the sub-group 11 isolates (with a long RNA profile). Most neonatal isolates of rotaviruses exhibited a similar RNA electrophore type, indicating that this strain of rotavirus· was nosocomially acquired in different maternity units in the city.

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eISSN: 2078-5135
print ISSN: 0256-9574