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Virology. 2000 Dec 20;278(2):436-44.

Molecular characterization of serotype G9 rotavirus strains from a global collection.

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Viral Gastroenteritis Section, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA.


Between 1992 and 1998, serotype G9 human rotavirus (RV) strains have been detected in 10 countries, including Thailand, India, Brazil, Bangladesh, Malawi, Italy, France, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia, suggesting the possible emergence of the fifth common serotype worldwide. Unlike the previously characterized reference G9 strains (i.e., WI61 and F45), the recent G9 isolates had a variety of gene combinations, raising questions concerning their origin and evolution. To identify the progenitor strain and examine the on-going evolution of the recent G9 strains, we characterized by genetic and antigenic analyses 16 isolates obtained from children with diarrhea in India, Bangladesh, the United States, and Malawi. Specifically, we sequenced their VP7 and NSP4 genes and compared the nucleotide (nt) and deduced amino acid sequences with the reference G9 strains. To identify reassortment, we examined the products of five gene segments; VP4, VP7, and NSP4 genotypes (genes 4, 9, and 10); subgroups (gene 6); electropherotypes (gene 11); and the genogroup profiles of all of the recent G9 isolates. Sequence analysis of the VP7 gene indicated that the recent U.S. P[6],G9 strains were closely related to the Malawian G9 strains (>99% nt identity) but distinct from G9 strains of India ( approximately 97% nt identity), Bangladesh ( approximately 98% nt identity), and the reference strains ( approximately 97% nt identity). Phylogenetic analysis identified a single cluster for the U.S. P[6],G9 strains that may have common progenitors with Malawian P[6],G9 strains whereas separate lineages were defined for the Indian, Bangladeshi, and reference G9 strains. Northern hybridization results indicated that all 11 gene segments of the Malawian P[6],G9 strains hybridized with a probe derived from a U.S. strain of the same genotype and may have the same progenitor, different from the Indian G9 strains, whereas the Bangladesh strains may have evolved from the U.S. G9 progenitors. Overall, our findings suggest that much greater diversity among the newly identified G9 strains has been generated by reassortment between gene segments than through the accumulation of mutations in a single gene.

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