17 Rotavirus

17.1 Virology

The rotaviruses are segmented, double-stranded RNA viruses of the family Reoviridae.1 They possess two independent neutralising antigens on the outer capsid, VP4 protease cleaved haemagglutinin (P) and VP7 glycoprotein (G), which allows for a binary classification system. While more than 60 G-P combinations have been found in humans, there are only five strains, P[8]G1, P[4]G2, P[8]G3, P[8]G4, and P[8]G9, that are associated with 80–90 percent of the global burden of disease in children.2