Rotavirus surveillance in Europe 2005-2008: Web-enabled reporting and real-time analysis of genotyping and epidemiological data

M. Iturriza-Gomara, T. Dallman, K. Banyai, B. Bottiger, J. Buesa, S. Diedrich, L. Fiore, K. Johansen, N. Korsun, A. Kroneman, M. Lappalainen, B. Laszlo, L. Maunula, J. Matthinjnssens, S. Midgley, Z. Mladenova, M. Poljsak-Prijatelj, P. Pothier, F. M. Ruggeri, A. Sanchez-FauquierE. Schreier, A. Steyer, I. Sidaraviciute, A. N. Tran, V. Usonis, M. van Ranst, A. de Rougemont, J. J. Gray

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Background: The first European rotavirus surveillance network, EuroRotaNet, comprising 16 laboratories in 15 European countries, has been established.

Methods: Fecal samples from gastroenteritis cases positive for group A rotavirus antigen were collected from multiple European countries from 2005 to mid-2008 and were subjected to G and P genotyping. Epidemiological data collected included age, sex, geographical location, setting, dates of onset and sample collection, and clinical symptoms.

Results: A total of 8879 rotavirus-positive samples were characterized: 2129 cases were from the 2005–2006 season, 4030 from the 2006–2007 season, and 2720 from the ongoing 2007–2008 season. A total of 30 different G and P type combinations of strains circulated in the region from 2005 through 2008. Of these strains, 90% had genotypes commonly associated with human infections—G1P[8], G2P[4], G3P[8], G4P[8], and G9P[8]—and 1.37% represented potential zoonotic introductions. G1P[8] remained the most prevalent genotype in Europe as a whole, but the incidence of infection with G1P[8] rotavirus strains was <50% overall, and all 3 seasons were characterized by a significant diversity of cocirculating strains. The peak incidence of rotavirus infection occurred from January through May, and 81% of case patients were aged <2.5 years.

Conclusions: Data gathered through EuroRotaNet will provide valuable background information on the rotavirus strain diversity in Europe before the introduction of rotavirus vaccines, and the network will provide a robust method for surveillance during vaccine implementation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S215-221
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue numberSuppl 1
Publication statusPublished - 2009

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