The EuroRotaNet surveillance network has conducted rotavirus genotype surveillance since 2007 in 16 European countries. Using epidemiological and microbiological data from 39,786 genotyped rotavirus-positive specimens collected between September 2007 and August 2013, we assessed genotype distribution and age distribution of rotavirus gastroenteritis (RVGE) cases in and out of peak season in 12 countries which were yet to implement routine rotavirus vaccination. In multinomial multivariate logistic regression, adjusting for year, country and age, the odds of infection caused by genotype-constellation 2 DS-1-like stains (adjusted multinomial odds ratio (aM-OR) = 1.25; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.13-1.37; p < 0.001), mixed or untypable genotypes (aM-OR = 1.55; 95% CI: 1.40-1.72; p < 0.001) and less common genotypes (aM-OR = 2.11; 95% CI:1.78-2.51; p < 0.001) increased out of season relative to G1P. Age varied significantly between seasons; the proportion of RVGE cases younger than 12 months in the United Kingdom increased from 34% in season to 39% out of season (aM-OR = 1.66; 95% CI: 1.20-2.30), and the proportion five years and older increased from 9% in season to 17% out of season (aM-OR = 2.53; 95% CI: 1.67-3.82). This study provides further understanding of the rotavirus ecology before vaccine introduction, which will help interpret epidemiological changes in countries introducing or expanding rotavirus vaccination programmes.
Keywords: epidemiology; gastrointestinal disease; laboratory surveillance; rotavirus infection; typing; vaccine-preventable diseases.