BACKGROUND: Group A rotaviruses (RVA) are the leading cause of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) in young (aged <5 years) children, causing ∼250,000 deaths worldwide, mostly in developing countries. Differences on nucleotide sequences of VP7 (G-type) and VP4 (P-type) genes are the basis for the binary RVA nomenclature. Although at least 32 G-types and 47 P-types of rotavirus are presently known, most RVA infections in humans worldwide are related to five major G/P combinations: G1P, G2P, G3P, G4P, and G9P.
AIM: To provide the hospitals of the Italian surveillance network with update information on RVA AGE.
METHODS: During RVA gastroenteritis surveillance in Italy in 2012-14, a total of 2341 RVA-positive faecal samples were collected from children hospitalized with AGE, and RVA strains were genotyped following standard EuroRotaNet protocols.
FINDINGS: Most strains analysed belonged to the five major human genotypes and 118 out of 2341 (5.0%) were reported to be hospital-acquired. Comparison of the distributions of the RVA genotypes circulating in the community or associated with nosocomial infections showed a different distribution of genotypes circulating inside the hospital wards, with respect to those observed in the community. G1P and G9P RVA strains were detected frequently, whereas G12P caused a single large nosocomial outbreak.
CONCLUSION: The information from this study will be useful to implement guidelines for preventing RVA AGE and optimizing the management of patients in hospital wards.
- Child, Preschool
- Cross Infection/epidemiology
- Infant, Newborn
- Pilot Projects
- Rotavirus Infections/epidemiology