Rotaviruses cause gastroenteritis in man and a wide variety of animal species. They cross-react in many immunologic tests and have a similar appearance by electron microscopy, making differentiation among them difficult. Rotaviruses derived from different host species were distinguished by postinfection serum blocking virus activity in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Thirty-three rotavirus isolates from children living in three different parts of the world could not be differentiated by this technique, but they were distinct from four strains recovered from calves, and a series of strains isolated from piglets, foals, monkeys, and infant mice. The four bovine strains were similar, but they could be differentiated from the other animal strains, each of which exhibited a distinct pattern when tested by the ELISA blocking technique.
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