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