The simian rota virus, SA 11, and the murine rotavirus, EDIM, were investigated for antigenic relatedness to the human rotavirus, by immunoelectron-microscopy. These studies led to the recognition of two types of rotavirus antibody. One agglutinated “rough” virus particles only and was group-reactive; it appears to be widely distributed in various animal species, including human infants. The second antibody agglutinated “smooth” virus particles and was more species-specific, demonstrating only a one-way cross-reaction between the simian and human viruses; it was found only in convalescent-phase human sera and in hyperimmune rabbit sera and is probably protective.

The simian rotavirus is easy to propagate in primary cell culture and in cell lines and should prove useful for serodiagnosis of human gastroenteritis. It may be a candidate for immunoprophylaxis.


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