Group A rotaviruses are the major cause of severe gastroenteritis in young children worldwide. Because rotavirus vaccination appeared imminent, a nationwide surveillance program was organized between October 1996 and October 1998 in the largest Argentine cities. Surveillance for disease burden, rotavirus detection, and rotavirus typing was undertaken at nine locations. Results showed rotavirus to be associated with 42% of diarrhea admissions. Although the prevalent G types changed from year to year, common G types were found in 96% of the cases and were usually associated with common P types. Uncommon G types, G9 and G5, were found at low prevalence and uncommon G/P combinations occurred at almost every study site. These data suggest that a rotavirus vaccine could substantially decrease the rotavirus disease burden in Argentina, but that introduction of a vaccine should be accompanied by a concurrent surveillance system.
Copyright 2001 Wiley-Liss, Inc.