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Among 167 rotaviruis specimens collected from young children in a suburban area of Bissau, Guinea-Bissau, from 1996 to 1998, most identifiable strains belonged to the uncommon P[6], G2 type and approximately 50% remained incompletely typed. In the present study, 76 such strains were further characterized. Due to interprimer interaction during the standard multiplex PCR approach, modifications of this procedure were implemented. The modified analyses revealed a high frequency of G2, G8, and G9 genotypes, often combined with P[4] and/or P[6]. The Guinean G8 and G9 strains were 97 and 98%, respectively, identical to other African G8 and G9 strains. Multiple G and/or P types were identified at a high frequency (59%), including two previously undescribed mixed infections, P[4]P[6], G2G8 and P[4]P[6], G2G9. These mixed infections most likely represent naturally occurring reassortance of rotavirus strains. Detection of such strains among the previously incompletely typed strains indicates a potential underestimation of mixed infections, if only a standard multiplex PCR procedure is followed. Furthermore cross-priming of the G3 primer with the G8 primer binding site and silent mutations at the P[4] and P[6] primer binding sites were detected. These findings highlight the need for regular evaluation of the multiplex primer PCR method and typing primers. The high frequency of uncommon as well as reassortant rotavirus strains in countries where rotavirus is an important cause of child mortality underscores the need for extensive strain surveillance as a basis to develop appropriate rotavirus vaccine candidates.
Original languageEnglish
JournalVirology
Publication date2003
Volume311
Journal number1
Pages125-133
ISSN0042-6822
StatePublished
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