Research Highlight

Delhi rotavirus different from global strains

Subhra Priyadarshini

doi:10.1038/nindia.2008.180 Published online 16 April 2008

Pratima Ray

Researchers in Delhi have reported a larger diversity of rotavirus strains among Indian children than previously thought. The study conducted between the years 2000 and 2007 has also found an unexpected emergence of previously less recognized G12 rotavirus strains as the cause of severe gastroenteritis in young children.

The team also made an interesting observation that G12 strains may be different from other globally common strains, particularly in having many more isolates with a variety of gene constellations.

"These findings underscore the need for continuous surveillance and for evaluation of candidate rotavirus vaccines in different geographical settings, both developed and developing," says one of the researchers Pratima Ray.

Rotavirus infection is the predominant cause of severe gastroenteritis in infants and young children and is responsible for about 600,000 deaths worldwide annually. Approximately 17% of such deaths and 400,000 hospitalizations occur in India.

Rotaviruses being RNA viruses, mutate frequently during replication, resulting in a generation of multiple strains. Rotaviruses that infect human have multiple serotypes but the most common types which infect children and infants worldwide are G1-4. Knowledge of rotavirus serotypes is important for planning vaccine strategy.

This study highlights the need for testing rotavirus vaccines both in developed and developing countries prior to being given a license.


  1. Sharma, S. et al. Emergence of G12 Rotavirus strains in Delhi, India, in 2000 to 2007. J. Clin. Microbiol. 46, 1343-1348 (2008)