A mass outbreak of gastroenteritis associated with group C rotaviral infection in schoolchildren.
Fukuoka Institute of Health and Environmental Sciences, Fukuoka, Japan.
In 1988, a mass outbreak of epidemic diarrhea, i.e., consisting of 296 cases, occurred in Fukuoka Prefecture. Fecal samples from patients of the outbreak were cultured for bacteria, but all samples were negative. Although direct electron microscopy (DEM) revealed the existence of rotavirus-like particles (diam. 60-70 nm) in the fecal samples, serological studies could not detect any antigenic relation to the ordinary rotaviruses by the reverse passive hemagglutination (RPHA) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) tests or immune electron microscopy (IEM) examination. The outbreak appeared to be caused by group C rotaviruses, based on the pattern of electrophoretic migration of RNA genome segments in polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE). Furthermore, IEM examination showed large aggregates of virus particles and antibodies when the virus particles were incubated with a reference serum specific for group C rotaviruses.