For complete serotype characterization of a viral strain, both the P-serotype (VP4) and G-seroytype (VP7) must be determined. Gentsch et al. (33), using a similar strategy, devised a PCR protocol that would facilitate the direct identification of rotaviral P-types. Comparative sequencing studies of VP4 genes from different strains revealed genetically distinct regions that were again used to design P-typing primers. These primers generated PCR products that were characteristic for the different P-types.
The potential genomic dynamics of the rotavirus necessitates continuous surveillance to monitor rotavirus infection and facilitate detection of novel strains. The combined use of electropherotyping and PCR serotyping protocols is useful in defining the epidemiology of rotavirus and identifying any novel strains in a population.
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