DOI: 10.1002/jmv.29028 ISSN:

Molecular epidemiology of rotavirus among children in Western Canada: Dynamic changes in genotype prevalence in four consecutive seasons

Ran Zhuo, Stephen B. Freedman, Jianling Xie, Carmen Charlton, Sabrina Plitt, Mathew A. Croxen, Vincent Li, Gillian A. M. Tarr, Bonita Lee, Samina Ali, Linda Chui, Jasper Luong, Xiaoli Pang
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


Rotavirus molecular surveillance remains important in the postvaccine era to monitor the changes in transmission patterns, identify vaccine‐induced antigenic changes and discover potentially pathogenic vaccine‐related strains. The Canadian province of Alberta introduced rotavirus vaccination into its provincial vaccination schedule in June 2015. To evaluate the impact of this program on stool rotavirus positivity rate, strain diversity, and seasonal trends, we analyzed a prospective cohort of children with acute gastroenteritis recruited between December 2014 and August 2018. We identified dynamic changes in rotavirus positivity and genotype trends during pre‐ and post‐rotavirus vaccine introduction periods. Genotypes G9P[8], G1P[8], G2P[4], and G12P[8] predominated consecutively each season with overall lower rotavirus incidence rates in 2016 and 2017. The demographic and clinical features of rotavirus gastroenteritis were comparable among wild‐type rotaviruses; however, children with G12P[8] infections were older (p < 0.001). Continued efforts to monitor changes in the molecular epidemiology of rotavirus using whole genome sequence characterization are needed to further understand the impact of the selection pressure of vaccination on rotavirus evolution.

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