Neutralizing antibodies against 10 serotypes of rotavirus were measured in sera from different age groups of German cattle. Only five of 143 sera did not neutralize heterologous serotypes. Sera from 64 of 76 calves younger than 1 year neutralized bovine rotavirus NCDV (serotype 6). From these calves, sera 54, 26, 51, 24, 12, 10 and 37, in neutralized addition, the heterologous serotypes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7 and 9, respectively. Thirty-eight of 46 rotavirus isolates from Bavarian calves with diarrhoea were serotyped by neutralization: 22, 2 and 14 isolates were typed as serotype 6, serotype 10 (B223) and a newly defined subtype of serotype 10 (V1005), respectively. All serotype 6 isolates and none of the serotype 10 or V1005-like viruses tested hybridized to a NCDV-specific cDNA probe. Eight isolates gave equivocal results by neutralization. We failed however to identify serotype 1, 2, 3, 4 or 8 bovine rotavirus isolates by neutralization with hyperimmune sera and dot blot hybridization with serotype-specific cDNA probes. Thus cross-reacting antibodies in cattle might not represent an anamnestic response, but the recognition of a cross-reacting neutralization epitope shared by many rotavirus serotypes.


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