Culture adaptation and characterization of group A rotaviruses causing diarrheal illnesses in Bangladesh from 1985 to 1986

R. L. Ward, J. D. Clemens, D. A. Sack, D. R. Knowlton, M. M. McNeal, N. Huda, F. Ahmed, M. Rao, G. M. Schiff

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25 Scopus citations


Group A rotaviruses collected between 1985 and 1986 during comprehensive surveillance of treated diarrheal episodes occurring in a rural Bangladesh population were culture adapted and characterized by electropherotype, serotype, and subgroup. Of 454 episodes of rotavirus-associated diarrhea, rotaviruses were culture adapted from 381 (84%), and 335 contained 11 electrophoretically identical segments in unpassaged and cultured preparations. These 335 comprised 69 different electropherotypes with between 1 (32 isolates) and 79 representatives. The persistence of specific rotavirus strains within the study population, as defined by the detection of viruses with particular electropherotypes, was generally limited to a period of only a few months. All 335 isolates were serotyped by neutralization with hyperimmune antisera to prototype rotavirus strains representative of serotypes 1 to 4, i.e., Wa, DS-1, P, and ST-3. It was found that 80, 48, 119, and 88 isolates belonged to serotypes 1 to 4, respectively. The concentrations of hyperimmune antisera required to neutralize these isolates, however, were at least threefold greater than those needed to neutralize the homologous strains. Therefore, the isolates appeared to have altered neutralization epitopes from their prototype strains. Furthermore, the serotype 4 isolates were consistently shown to be much more closely related to the serotype 4B VA70 strain than the serotype 4A ST-3 strain. All but two isolates identified as serotypes 1, 3, or 4 had long electropherotypes and were subgroup II, and all but one serotype 2 isolate were subgroup I and had short electropherotypes. The three disparate strains appeared to be genetic reassortants. Evidence is presented that dual infections required for reassortant formation were not uncommon. Thus, formation of multiple reassortants may have been a cause for the observed rapid shift in viral strains within the study population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1915-1923
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of clinical microbiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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