Background: A live, attenuated rotavirus vaccine, RotaTeq®, was approved in 2006 for immunization of infants in the United States. To monitor the distribution of rotavirus genotypes before and after vaccine introduction, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted strain surveillance with the National Rotavirus Strain Surveillance System.
Methods: Over 3 rotavirus seasons, 2005-2006, 2006-2007, and 2007-2008, National Rotavirus Strain Surveillance System laboratories collected rotavirus-positive stool specimens and submitted them to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Rotavirus strains were G- and P-genotyped by multiplex reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction or nucleotide sequencing.
Results: During 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 seasons, G1 was the dominant G-type but in the 2007-2008 season, G3 replaced G1 as the most frequently detected strain. Four genotypes, G1P, G2P, G3P, and G9P were detected in every season. Uncommon strains observed during the study period were G2P, G1P, G2P, G4P, G1P, G3P, G12P , and G12P. The mean age of rotavirus cases in the 2007-2008 season increased significantly in patients less than 3 years old compared with the 2 previous seasons.
Conclusions: : The increased overall prevalence of G3P  strains in 2007-2008, the first rotavirus season with reasonable rotavirus vaccine coverage, was consistent with Australian reports of G3 dominance following RotaTeq introduction. However, these strain changes in both countries have occurred in the context of large declines in severe rotavirus disease and we cannot rule out that they are simply the result of naturally occurring changes in rotavirus strain prevalence. These findings underscore the need for careful monitoring of strains to assess possible vaccine pressure-induced changes and vaccine effectiveness against various rotavirus genotypes.