Recommendations for the classification of group A rotaviruses using all 11 genomic RNA segments
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Recently, a classification system was proposed for rotaviruses in which all the 11 genomic RNA segments are used (Matthijnssens et al. in J Virol 82:3204–3219, 2008). Based on nucleotide identity cut-off percentages, different genotypes were defined for each genome segment. A nomenclature for the comparison of complete rotavirus genomes was considered in which the notations Gx-P[x]-Ix-Rx-Cx-Mx-Ax-Nx-Tx-Ex-Hx are used for the VP7-VP4-VP6-VP1-VP2-VP3-NSP1-NSP2-NSP3-NSP4-NSP5/6 encoding genes, respectively. This classification system is an extension of the previously applied genotype-based system which made use of the rotavirus gene segments encoding VP4, VP7, VP6, and NSP4. In order to assign rotavirus strains to one of the established genotypes or a new genotype, a standard procedure is proposed in this report. As more human and animal rotavirus genomes will be completely sequenced, new genotypes for each of the 11 gene segments may be identified. A Rotavirus Classification Working Group (RCWG) including specialists in molecular virology, infectious diseases, epidemiology, and public health was formed, which can assist in the appropriate delineation of new genotypes, thus avoiding duplications and helping minimize errors. Scientists discovering a potentially new rotavirus genotype for any of the 11 gene segments are invited to send the novel sequence to the RCWG, where the sequence will be analyzed, and a new nomenclature will be advised as appropriate. The RCWG will update the list of classified strains regularly and make this accessible on a website. Close collaboration with the Study Group Reoviridae of the International Committee on the Taxonomy of Viruses will be maintained.
KeywordsGenome Segment Open Read Frame Sequence Reassortment Event Cognate Gene NSP4 Genotype
We would like to thank all the colleagues of the Laboratory of Clinical and Epidemiological Virology, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Rega Institute for Medical Research, University of Leuven, Belgium, for their helpful comments and discussions. J.M. was supported by the Institute for the Promotion of Innovation through Science and Technology in Flanders (IWT Vlaanderen). JTP was supported by the Intramural Research Program of the NIH, National Institutes of Health, USA. CDK is supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) RD Wright Research Fellowship (334364).
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