Archives of Virology

, Volume 156, Issue 8, pp 1397–1413 | Cite as

Uniformity of rotavirus strain nomenclature proposed by the Rotavirus Classification Working Group (RCWG)

  • Jelle Matthijnssens
  • Max Ciarlet
  • Sarah M. McDonald
  • Houssam Attoui
  • Krisztián Bányai
  • J. Rodney Brister
  • Javier Buesa
  • Mathew D. Esona
  • Mary K. Estes
  • Jon R. Gentsch
  • Miren Iturriza-Gómara
  • Reimar Johne
  • Carl D. Kirkwood
  • Vito Martella
  • Peter P. C. Mertens
  • Osamu Nakagomi
  • Viviana Parreño
  • Mustafizur Rahman
  • Franco M. Ruggeri
  • Linda J. Saif
  • Norma Santos
  • Andrej Steyer
  • Koki Taniguchi
  • John T. Patton
  • Ulrich Desselberger
  • Marc Van Ranst
Original Article


In April 2008, a nucleotide-sequence-based, complete genome classification system was developed for group A rotaviruses (RVs). This system assigns a specific genotype to each of the 11 genome segments of a particular RV strain according to established nucleotide percent cutoff values. Using this approach, the genome of individual RV strains are given the complete descriptor of Gx-P[x]-Ix-Rx-Cx-Mx-Ax-Nx-Tx-Ex-Hx. The Rotavirus Classification Working Group (RCWG) was formed by scientists in the field to maintain, evaluate and develop the RV genotype classification system, in particular to aid in the designation of new genotypes. Since its conception, the group has ratified 51 new genotypes: as of April 2011, new genotypes for VP7 (G20-G27), VP4 (P[28]-P[35]), VP6 (I12-I16), VP1 (R5-R9), VP2 (C6-C9), VP3 (M7-M8), NSP1 (A15-A16), NSP2 (N6-N9), NSP3 (T8-T12), NSP4 (E12-E14) and NSP5/6 (H7-H11) have been defined for RV strains recovered from humans, cows, pigs, horses, mice, South American camelids (guanaco), chickens, turkeys, pheasants, bats and a sugar glider. With increasing numbers of complete RV genome sequences becoming available, a standardized RV strain nomenclature system is needed, and the RCWG proposes that individual RV strains are named as follows: RV group/species of origin/country of identification/common name/year of identification/G- and P-type. In collaboration with the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), the RCWG is also working on developing a RV-specific resource for the deposition of nucleotide sequences. This resource will provide useful information regarding RV strains, including, but not limited to, the individual gene genotypes and epidemiological and clinical information. Together, the proposed nomenclature system and the NCBI RV resource will offer highly useful tools for investigators to search for, retrieve, and analyze the ever-growing volume of RV genomic data.


Vaccine Strain Genome Segment Reverse Genetic Nomenclature System Equivalent Mechanism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



J. Matthijnssens is supported by an FWO (‘Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek’) postdoctoral fellowship. S. McDonald and J. Patton are supported by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health. K. Bányai was supported by the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund (OTKA PD76364). J. Buesa is supported by the Consolider-Ingenio 2010 Program (FUN-C-FOOD CSD2007-063) of the Spanish Ministry of Science. R. Johne is supported by a grant from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (JO369/4-1). CD Kirkwood is supported by an NHMRC Career Development Award (607347). V. Martella was supported by the Ministry of Health, Ricerca finalizzata 2007 “Zoonosi e infezioni virali esotiche: fronteggiare le emergenze attraverso un approccio integrato fra medicina umana e veterinaria”. F.M. Ruggeri is supported by the Ministry of Health, CCM “Rotanet-Italy” Programme.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jelle Matthijnssens
    • 1
  • Max Ciarlet
    • 2
  • Sarah M. McDonald
    • 3
  • Houssam Attoui
    • 4
  • Krisztián Bányai
    • 5
  • J. Rodney Brister
    • 6
  • Javier Buesa
    • 7
  • Mathew D. Esona
    • 8
  • Mary K. Estes
    • 9
  • Jon R. Gentsch
    • 8
  • Miren Iturriza-Gómara
    • 10
  • Reimar Johne
    • 11
  • Carl D. Kirkwood
    • 12
  • Vito Martella
    • 13
  • Peter P. C. Mertens
    • 4
  • Osamu Nakagomi
    • 14
  • Viviana Parreño
    • 15
  • Mustafizur Rahman
    • 16
  • Franco M. Ruggeri
    • 17
  • Linda J. Saif
    • 18
  • Norma Santos
    • 19
  • Andrej Steyer
    • 20
  • Koki Taniguchi
    • 21
  • John T. Patton
    • 3
  • Ulrich Desselberger
    • 22
  • Marc Van Ranst
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Clinical & Epidemiological Virology, Department of Microbiology & Immunology, Rega Institute for Medical ResearchUniversity of LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Clinical Research and DevelopmentNovartis Vaccines & Diagnostics, IncCambridgeUSA
  3. 3.Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious DiseasesNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA
  4. 4.Vector-Borne Diseases ProgramInstitute for Animal HealthSurreyUK
  5. 5.Veterinary Medical Research InstituteHungarian Academy of SciencesBudapestHungary
  6. 6.National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of MedicineNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA
  7. 7.Department of Microbiology and Ecology, School of MedicineUniversity of ValenciaValenciaSpain
  8. 8.Division of Viral Diseases, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory DiseasesCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA
  9. 9.Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology and Medicine-GIBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA
  10. 10.Enteric Virus Unit, Virus Reference Department, Centre for InfectionHealth Protection AgencyLondonUK
  11. 11.Federal Institute for Risk AssessmentBerlinGermany
  12. 12.Enteric Virus Research Group, Murdoch Childrens Research InstituteRoyal Children’s HospitalParkvilleAustralia
  13. 13.Department of Veterinary Public HealthUniversity of BariBariItaly
  14. 14.Department of Molecular Microbiology and ImmunologyNagasaki UniversityNagasakiJapan
  15. 15.Instituto de VirologíaCICVyA, INTA CastelarBuenos AiresArgentina
  16. 16.Laboratory of VirologyICDDR,BDhakaBangladesh
  17. 17.Department of Veterinary Public Health & Food SafetyIstituto Superiore di SanitàRomeItaly
  18. 18.Food Animal Health Research Program, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development CenterThe Ohio State UniversityWoosterUSA
  19. 19.Departamento de Virologia, Instituto de MicrobiologiaUniversidade Federal do Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil
  20. 20.University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Microbiology and ImmunologyLjubljanaSlovenia
  21. 21.Department of Virology and ParasitologyFujita Health University School of MedicineToyoakeJapan
  22. 22.Department of Medicine, Addenbrooke’s HospitalUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK

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