Evidence of zoonotic transmission of VP6 and NSP4 genes into human species A rotaviruses isolated in Pakistan in 2010
Introduction of animal group A rotavirus (RVA) gene segments into the human RVA population is a major factor shaping the genetic landscape of human RVA strains. The VP6 and NSP4 genes of 74 G/P-genotyped RVA isolates collected in Rawalpindi during 2010 were analyzed, revealing the presence of VP6 genotypes I1 (60.8%) and I2 (39.2%) and NSP4 genotypes E1 (60.8%), E2 (28.3%) and E-untypable (10.8%) among the circulating human RVA strains. The typical human RVA combinations I1E1 and I2E2 were found in 59.4% and 24.3% of the cases, respectively, whereas 5.4% of the RVA strains were reassortants, i.e., either I1E2 or I2E1. The phylogeny of the NSP4 gene showed that one G2P and two G1P RVA strains clustered with porcine E1 RVA strains or RVA strains that were considered to be (partially) of porcine origin. In addition, the NSP4 gene segment of the unusual human G6P RVA strains clustered closely with bovine E2 RVA strains, further strengthening the hypothesis of an interspecies transmission event. The study further demonstrates the role of genomic re-assortment and the involvement of interspecies transmission in the evolution of human RVA strains. The VP6 and NSP4 nucleotide sequences analyzed in the study received the GenBank accession numbers KC846908- KC846971 and KC846972-KC847037, respectively.
Sana Tamim was supported by a PhD stipend and mobility grant from the Higher Education Commission (HEC) for research work at the Rega Institute for Medical Research, KU Leuven University, Leuven, Belgium. M.Z. was supported by the Institute for the Promotion of Innovation through Science and Technology in Flanders (IWT Vlaanderen).
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The authors have declared that no competing interest exists that could inappropriately influence their work during the submission process.
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