There are 5 distinct antigenic groups of rotaviruses; A to E. A is the most commonly seen and studied and this is further subdivided to G and P types.
Rotaviruses are thought to be mostly species specific, but some transmission between species occurs.
Group A is present in all mammals, whereas group B and C are only common in pigs. Strains are known to vary in virulence, but they are always confined to the gut.
The characteristic clinical sign of the disease is ‘white scour’. The onset of diarrhoea is acute and can in severe cases lead to sudden death. Other clinical signs include depression, dehydration and weight loss. Rotavirus is NOT associated with diarrhoea in dogs and cats.