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Unusual Assortment in Rotavirus Genomes | CDC EID

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Volume 16, Number 5–May 2010
Unusual Assortment of Segments in 2 Rare Human Rotavirus Genomes
Simona De Grazia, Giovanni M. Giammanco, Christiaan A. Potgieter, Jelle Matthijnssens, Krisztián Bányai, Maria A. Platia, Claudia Colomba, and Vito Martella
Author affiliations: University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy (S. De Grazia, G.M. Giammanco, M.A. Platia, C. Colomba); Ondersterpoort Veterinary Institute, Ondersterpoort, South Africa (C.A. Potgieter); Rega Institute for Medical Research, Leuven, Belgium (J. Matthiinssens); Veterinary Medical Research Institute, Budapest, Hungary (K. Bányai); and University of Bari, Valenzano, Italy (V. Martella)

Suggested citation for this article

Using full-length genome sequence analysis, we investigated 2 rare G3P[9] human rotavirus strains isolated from children with diarrhea. The genomes were recognized as assortments of genes closely related to rotaviruses originating from cats, ruminants, and humans. Results suggest multiple transmissions of genes from animal to human strains of rotaviruses.
Group A rotaviruses possess a genome of 11 segments of double-stranded RNA (1). Rotaviruses are associated with acute gastroenteritis in humans and a wide variety of other mammalian and avian species (1). The evolution and diversity of rotaviruses is driven by genomic reassortment, accumulation of point mutations, intragenic recombination, and interspecies transmission (2,3). At least 23 G genotypes (structural viral protein [VP] 7 related) and 32 P genotypes (VP4 related) have been identified thus far in rotaviruses (4). Unlike other G and P types, G3 has been identified in rotavirus strains from humans and from almost all other susceptible mammalian species, including dogs, cats, monkeys, horses, rabbits, pigs, and ruminants, in association with various P types, thus exhibiting a broad host range (1). G3 human rotaviruses are usually associated with P[8] or P[6] and, rarely, with P[9] (5,6).

Historically, RNA–RNA hybridization has been used to study the genetic relationships among rotavirus strains and has shown 2 major pools among human rotaviruses, named Wa-like and DS-1–like (7). Recently, a new classification system based on whole-genome sequence analysis enabled researchers to better understand the complex interactions between human and animal rotaviruses (8,9). Application of this new classification system showed a close evolutionary relationship between human Wa-like and porcine rotavirus strains and between human DS-1–like and bovine rotavirus strains, suggesting that the 2 major human rotavirus G and P types might have an animal origin (8). A third human rotavirus family, designated AU-1–like, comprises a group of globally circulating but overall rare strains, mainly with the G3P[9] combination. Early RNA-RNA hybridization studies suggested a genetic relationship of particular human G3P[9] strains with feline rotaviruses (10). Later, feline–bovine reassortant G3P[9] rotaviruses were also identified in humans (11). However, because of the limits of resolution of the RNA–RNA hybridization method, determining the exact origin of individual genome segments in these strains was not possible.

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Unusual Assortment in Rotavirus Genomes | CDC EID

Suggested Citation for this Article
De Grazia S, Giammanco GM, Potgieter CA, Matthijnssens J, Bányai K, Platia MA, et al. Unusual assortment of segments in 2 rare human rotavirus genomes. Emerg Infect Dis [serial on the Internet]. 2010 May [date cited].

DOI: 10.3201/eid1605.091826

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