Molecular characterization of group C rotaviruses detected in children in Italy

Maria Cristina Medici, Laura Anna Abelli, Monica Martinelli, Vito Martella, Giuseppe Dettori, Carlo Chezzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Group C rotavirus (GCRV) infection has been described worldwide in children and adults either as sporadic cases or large outbreaks of gastroenteritis but GCRV epidemiology is still unclear. Objective: To acquire molecular information on GCRV infection in children hospitalized with gastroenteritis in Italy. Study design: Stools positive for rotavirus-like-particles by electron microscopy during the 2004-2005 surveillance for rotavirus infection in Parma, Italy, were screened by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. GCRV strains detected were characterized by sequence and phylogenetic analysis of the genes encoding the capsid proteins VP4, VP6 and VP7. Results: Two of 856 samples (0.23%; 0.7% of 273 samples containing rotavirus-like particles) contained GCRV. These Italian strains were virtually identical in the 3 genes and were closely related to human strains identified in Asia, rather than to strains of European origin. Conclusions: These results confirm the circulation of GCRVs in Europe and demonstrate genetic heterogeneity among European GCRVs. Inclusion of GCRVs in the diagnostic algorithms for childhood diarrhoea could be helpful in monitoring temporal changes in the GCRV epidemiology, likely under the influence of the changing demographic dynamics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-65
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Clinical Virology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009


  • Group C rotaviruses
  • Molecular epidemiology
  • Phylogenetic analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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