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Prevalence of group C rotaviruses in weaning and post-weaning pigs with enteritis

Martella, V., Banyai, K., Lorusso, E., Bellacicco, A.L., Decaro, N., Camero, M., Bozzo, G., Moschidou, P., Arista, S., Pezzotti, G.
Veterinary microbiology 2007 v.123 no.1-3 pp. 26-33
disease prevalence, Rotavirus C, weaning, piglets, enteritis, weanlings, mixed infection, viral diseases of animals and humans, swine diseases, diarrhea, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, Rotavirus A, Caliciviridae, feces, complications, Italy
Diarrheic fecal specimens collected from porcine herds were screened for the presence of group C rotaviruses using a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay. A total of 188 samples were tested and 54 were positive. When compiled these data with diagnostic results on group A rotaviruses and enteric caliciviruses we found that all but 5 group C rotavirus positive samples contained at least one additional virus. A subset of samples were subjected to nucleotide sequencing. The selected strains showed an unexpectedly wide range of nucleotide sequence heterogeneity (88.6-100%) to each other and to the reference porcine group C rotavirus strain, Cowden. The nucleotide sequence identity to the genuine bovine and human strains were, respectively, 86.8 and 87.2% or less. In conclusion, our study demonstrates that infection with group C rotavirus is frequent in Italian piggeries. The considerable rate of multiple infections requires further studies to investigate the pathogenic potential of group C rotaviruses in pigs, alone or in mixed infection, and raises challenges in the laboratory diagnosis of porcine enteric infections.