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Group A Rotavirus Detection and Genotype Distribution before and after Introduction of a National Immunisation Programme in Ireland: 2015–2019

UCD National Virus Reference Laboratory, University College Dublin, Dublin 4, Ireland
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Pathogens 2020, 9(6), 449; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9060449
Received: 19 May 2020 / Revised: 5 June 2020 / Accepted: 5 June 2020 / Published: 7 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rotaviruses and Rotavirus Vaccines)
Immunisation against rotavirus infection was introduced into Ireland in December 2016. We report on the viruses causing gastroenteritis before (2015–2016) and after (2017–2019) implementation of the Rotarix vaccine, as well as changes in the diversity of circulating rotavirus genotypes. Samples from patients aged ≤ 5 years (n = 11,800) were received at the National Virus Reference Laboratory, Dublin, and tested by real-time RT-PCR for rotavirus, Rotarix, norovirus, sapovirus, astrovirus, and enteric adenovirus. Rotavirus genotyping was performed either by multiplex or hemi-nested RT-PCR, and a subset was characterised by sequence analysis. Rotavirus detection decreased by 91% in children aged 0–12 months between 2015/16 and 2018/19. Rotarix was detected in 10% of those eligible for the vaccine and was not found in those aged >7 months. Rotavirus typically peaks in March–May, but following vaccination, the seasonality became less defined. In 2015–16, G1P[8] was the most common genotype circulating; however, in 2019 G2P[4] was detected more often. Following the introduction of Rotarix, a reduction in numbers of rotavirus infections occurred, coinciding with an increase in genotype diversity, along with the first recorded detection of an equine-like G3 strain in Ireland. View Full-Text
Keywords: gastroenteritis; rotavirus; Rotarix; pediatric; diagnostics; molecular epidemiology; G3P[8]; equine-like gastroenteritis; rotavirus; Rotarix; pediatric; diagnostics; molecular epidemiology; G3P[8]; equine-like
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Yandle, Z.; Coughlan, S.; Dean, J.; Tuite, G.; Conroy, A.; De Gascun, C.F. Group A Rotavirus Detection and Genotype Distribution before and after Introduction of a National Immunisation Programme in Ireland: 2015–2019. Pathogens 2020, 9, 449.

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