BACKGROUND: Human rotavirus genotypes G1-G4, G9, P and P are major worldwide causes of acute gastroenteritis in children. Rotavirus genotype G1P is predominant in many countries. In this study, the genotypic diversity of group A rotaviruses were detected in children <5 years of age who were treated for dehydration and diarrhea in Tehran, Iran from October 2004 to September 2008.
METHODS: A total of 700 stool specimens were collected from children and assessed for the presence of rotaviruses by the dsRNA-PAGE technique. G and P typing of the positive samples were performed by semi-nested multiplex RT-PCR.
RESULTS: Rotaviruses were isolated in 19% of samples. A total of 14 rotavirus dsRNA different electrophoretypes were detected. The predominant genotype was G1 (76.3%), followed by G4 (11.5%), G8 (0.8%), P (9.2%) and P (66.4%), respectively. In mixed type samples, the majority were of genotype G1P (53.4%), followed by G1P (9.2%) and G4P (4.6%). Mixed types consisted of 3.1% of the total sample followed by G1G2/-P (1.5%), G1G4P (0.8%) and G1G4P (0.8%).
CONCLUSION: In this study, a high prevalence of the G1P genotype was determined to be the cause of childhood gastroenteritis in Tehran, Iran. The sequence of G and P genotypes showed high levels of similarity to strains from other Asian countries. Our data will be useful for future vaccine formulation in Iran.