108 rotavirus strains obtained from children with diarrhea hospitalized in Palermo, Italy, in the years 1990-1994, were examined by seminested PCR to study the relative frequency and distribution of the four most common alleles of the gene 4. Such strains were selected from 344 human rotavirus strains recovered in palermo during those years after characterization by electropherotyping, subgrouping and G serotyping. One hundred and seven of the 108 strains could be classified into P types, the P, G1 (38.3%) and the P, G4 (52.3%) types being predominant. The unique strain whose P genotype could not be identified showed an unusual combination of long migration electrophoretic pattern and subgroup I specificity.
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