The group A rotavirus infections are associated with severe gastroenteritis in children. G1P was the most prevalent genotype found in Kuwait in a study conducted between 2005 and 2006. The demographic change in Kuwait, and the recent decision to include the Rotateq vaccine in the Kuwait national immunization program, prompted us to investigate a potential change in the prevalence of rotavirus genotypes circulating in Kuwait, and to identify the VP4 and VP7 subgenomic lineages.
Viral RNA was isolated from the stool samples of 101 children under 5 years of age, hospitalized for severe diarrhea. Rotavirus dsRNA was detected by RT-PCR in 24.7% of children with median age of 1 year.
The genotype G3P accounted for 47% of cases, followed by G1P (26%), G9P (10.5%), G4P (10.5%), and G9P (5%). Only VP7 nucleotide sequences of rotavirus G3 or G4 type clustered in the same lineage as RotaTeq, while most VP4 nucleotide sequences of rotavirus P type clustered in a different lineage than Rotarix and RotaTeq vaccines.
Conclusion: Our findings highlight the potential rise in the incidence of rotavirus G3P in Kuwait, and invites future investigations to know whether the recent introduction of RotaTeq vaccine selects for certain genotypes and subgenomic lineages.
W. Widad Al-Nakib,