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Rare Rotavirus Strains in Children with Severe Diarrhea, Malaysia

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Publication Date
DOI: 10.3201/eid1705.101652
  • Letters To The Editor
  • Biology


To the Editor: We report the identification of G3P[9] rotavirus in children with acute diarrhea in Malaysia. Globally, rotavirus infections are the most common cause of severe diarrhea in infants and young children admitted to hospital. It is estimated that 527,000 children <5 years of age die each year of rotavirus diarrhea (1). Strains with a G3P[9] genotype represent a rare group of viruses, initially reported in Japan in 1982. These viruses have been sporadically associated with diarrhea in infants in countries such as Thailand, Italy, United States, Japan, Malaysia, and China (2–7) and thus represent a rare but widely distributed group of viruses. Four genotype G3P[9] strains were identified from a total of 134 rotavirus-positive samples analyzed during surveillance studies conducted among children <5 years of age who were admitted to the University of Malaya Medical Centre, Kuala Lumpur, with acute diarrhea during 2008. To understand the possible origin of these G3P[9] viruses, we determined the sequence of the genes encoding the 2 outer capsid proteins, viral protein (VP) 7 and VP4, and analyzed their phylogenetic relationship to other rotaviruses. Rotavirus double-stranded RNA was extracted by using the QIAamp Viral RNA Mini Kit (QIAGEN, Hilden, Germany), and the genes encoding the VP4 and VP7 proteins were amplified by reverse transcription–PCR (RT-PCR). The VP7 gene segment (nt 51–932) was amplified by using primers VP7-F and VP7-R (8), and the VP8 subunit of the VP4 gene (nt 150–795) was amplified by using the primers VP4-F and VP4-R (9). The PCR products were purified by using the QIAquick Gel Extraction Kit (QIAGEN) and sequenced by using the ABI Prism BigDye Terminator cycle sequencing kit version 3.1 (Applied Biosystems, Carlsbad, CA, USA) with primers homologous to both ends and internal regions of each gene. Sequencing was performed on an Applied Biosystems 3730xl DNA Analyzer at the Australian Genome Research Facility. Sequences were analyzed by using the Sequencher program version

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