Genotype G12 strains are now considered to be the sixth most prevalent human rotaviruses worldwide. In two Sicilian cities, Palermo and Messina, surveillance of rotavirus circulation performed since 1985 and 2009, respectively, did not detect G12 strains until 2012. From 2012 to 2014 rotavirus infection was detected in 29·7% of 1647 stool samples collected from children admitted for acute gastroenteritis to three Sicilian hospitals in Palermo, Messina and Ragusa. In 2012, G12P was first detected in Palermo and then in Messina where it represented the second most frequent genotype (20% prevalence) after G1P. Thereafter, G12 strains continued to circulate in Sicily, showing a marked prevalence in Ragusa (27·8%) in 2013 and in Palermo (21%) and Messina (16·6%) in 2014. All but one of the Sicilian G12 strains carried a P VP4 genotype, whereas the single non-P rotavirus strain was genotyped as G12P. Phylogenetic analysis of the VP7 and VP4 sequences allowed distinction of several genetic lineages and separation of the G12P strains into three cluster combinations. These findings indicate independent introductions of G12 rotavirus strains in Sicily in recent years.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases