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J Clin Microbiol. 2003 Jul;41(7):3100-11.

Characterization of serotype G9 rotavirus strains isolated in the United States and India from 1993 to 2001.

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  • 1Viral Gastroenteritis Section, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA.


The emergence of rotavirus serotype G9 as a possible fifth globally common serotype in the last decade, together with its increasing detection in association with various genome constellations, raises questions about the origins and epidemiological importance of recent G9 isolates. We examined a collection of 40 G9 strains isolated in the United States from 1996 to 2001 and in India since 1993 to determine their VP7 gene sequences, P types, E types, subgroup specificities, and RNA-RNA hybridization profiles. With the exception of two U.S. strains, all of the study strains shared high VP7 gene sequence homology (<2.5% sequence divergence on both the nucleotide and amino acid levels) and were more closely related to other recent isolates than to the first G9 strains isolated in the 1980s. The VP7 gene sequence and RNA-RNA hybridization profiles of the long-E-type strains showed greater variation than the short-E-type strains, suggesting that the latter strains are the result of a relatively recent reassortment event of the G9 VP7 gene into a short-E-type lineage. No evidence for reassortment of genes other than VP4 and VP7 between major human rotavirus genogroups was observed. Except for Om46 and Om67, which formed a distinct clade, phylogenetic analysis showed that most of the study strains grouped together, with some subgroups forming according to genetic constellation, geographic location, and date of isolation. The high potential of G9 strains to generate different P and G serotype combinations through reassortment suggests that it will be important to determine if current vaccines provide heterotypic protection against these strains and underscores the need for continued surveillance for G9 and other unusual or emerging rotavirus strains.

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