Genome analyses of species A rotavirus isolated from various mammalian hosts in Northern Ireland during 2013−2016

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Oxford Univerity Press
Rotavirus group A (RVA) is the most important cause of acute diarrhoea and severe dehydration in young mammals. Infection in livestock is associated with significant mortality and economic losses and, together with wildlife reservoirs, acts as a potential source of zoonotic transmission. Therefore, molecular surveillance of circulating RVA strains in animal species is necessary to assess the risks posed to humans and their livestock. An RVA molecular epidemiological surveillance study on clinically diseased livestock species revealed high prevalence in cattle and pigs (31 per cent and 18 per cent, respectively) with significant phylogenetic diversity including a novel and divergent ovine artiodactyl DS-1-like constellation G10-P[15]-I2-R2-C2-M2-A11-N2-T6-E2-H3. An RVA gene reassortment occurred in an RVA asymptomatic pig and identified as a G5-P[13] strain, and a non-structural protein (NSP)2 gene had intergenomically reassorted with a human RVA strain (reverse zoonosis) and possessed a novel NSP4 enterotoxin E9 which may relate to the asymptomatic RVA infection. Analysis of a novel sheep G10-P[15] strain viral protein 4 gene imparts a putative homologous intergenic and interspecies recombination event, subsequently creating the new P[15] divergent lineage. While surveillance across a wider range of wildlife and exotic species identified generally negative or low prevalence, a novel RVA interspecies transmission in a non-indigenous pudu deer (zoo origin) with the constellation of G6-P[11]12-R2-C2-M2-A3-N2-T6-E2-H3 was detected at a viral load of 11.1 log10 copies/gram. The detection of novel emerging strains, interspecies reassortment, interspecies infection, and recombination of RVA circulating in animal livestock and wildlife reservoirs is of paramount importance to the RVA epidemiology and evolution for the One Health approach and post-human vaccine introduction era where highly virulent animal RVA genotypes have the potential to be zoonotically transmitted.
Publication history: Accepted - 27 June 2023; Published - 4 July 2023.
rotavirus group A, phylogenetics, prevalence, NGS, WGS, surveillance, reassortment, recombination, interspecies
Lagan, P., Mooney, M.H. and Lemon, K. (2023) ‘Genome analyses of species A rotavirus isolated from various mammalian hosts in Northern Ireland during 2013−2016’, Virus Evolution. Oxford University Press (OUP). Available at: