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

Abstract

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.

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Acknowledgments

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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Correspondence to Jelle Matthijnssens.

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Matthijnssens, J., Ciarlet, M., McDonald, S.M. et al. Uniformity of rotavirus strain nomenclature proposed by the Rotavirus Classification Working Group (RCWG). Arch Virol 156, 1397–1413 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00705-011-1006-z

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Keywords

  • Vaccine Strain
  • Genome Segment
  • Reverse Genetic
  • Nomenclature System
  • Equivalent Mechanism