Molecular characterization of rotavirus strains from children with Diarrhea in Italy 2007-2009

Franco Maria Ruggeri, Roberto Delogu, Tatiana Petouchoff, Olga Tcheremenskaia, Simona De Petris, Lucia Fiore, Maria Grazia Pompa, Francesca Russo, Francesca Zanella, Dario Cesco, Paola Sartore, Monica Micera, Carla Zotti, Elena Cacello, Luciano Balbi, Maria Barbi, Sandro Binda, Valeria Primache, Anna Maria Iorio, Barbara CamilloniMichela Basileo, Maria Cristina Medici, Carlo Chezzi, Laura Abelli, Caterina Rizzo, Giovanni Maurizio Giammanco, Simona De Grazia, Maria Angela Platia, Maria Chironna, Anna Sallustio, Cinzia Germinario, Maria Luisa Tanzi, Paola Pietrosemoli, Marcello D’Errico, Anna Marigliano, Nicola Comodo, Chiara Lorini, Vito Martella, Sonia Storelli, Priscilla Cocchi, Filippo Festini, Marta De Rosa, Mattia Chisari, Annibale Raglio, Alessandra Zanchi, Manuela Onori, Gaetano Danzi, Tiziana Lazzarotto, Mino Pedroni, Filippo Ansaldi, The RotaNet-Italy Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The surveillance network RotaNet-Italia was established in 2007 in order to investigate the diversity of co-circulating rotavirus strains in Italy, and to provide a baseline for future assessment of possible effects of vaccine implementation in selecting novel versus common rotavirus strains. A total of 2,645 rotavirus strains from pediatric patients with acute diarrhea were collected over three consecutive seasons from September 2006 through August 2009, and partially characterized by standardized multiplex RT-PCR. Most of strains (89.1%) belonged to genotypes G1-G4, and G9, associated with either P[8] or P[4], commonly found in humans worldwide. However, in at least 2.0% of cases, viruses exhibited either a G or P type typical of animal viral strains, suggesting gene reassortment events between rotaviruses of different origin. Mixed infections with two or more rotavirus strains were observed frequently (7.6% of patients), and depended on the frequencies of co-circulating rotaviruses of one particular genotype. The numbers and genotypes of likely natural reassortants of common genotype rotaviruses were found to be correlated with the observed numbers and genotypes of mixed infections. Large variation in the relative frequency of different rotavirus genotypes was observed between different seasons and/or areas of Italy, suggesting independent evolution or differential introduction of viral strains with respect to both time and space.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1657-1668
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Gene reassortment
  • Genotyping
  • Molecular epidemiology
  • Rotavirus
  • Zoonotic transmission

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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