Equine group A rotavirus (RVA) G3P(12) and G14P(12) strains cause gastroenteritis in foals worldwide. Both of these strains have been co-circulating in Japan since G14P(12) strains emerged in the late 1990s. Although it is important to comprehensively understand the evolution of RVA strains, whole-genome sequence data on recent equine RVA strains in Japan are lacking. Therefore, in this study, whole-genome analysis of 23 equine RVA isolates from the late 1990s and 2009-2010 and the vaccine strain RVA/Horse-tc/JPN/HO-5/1982/G3P(12) (HO-5) was performed. The G3 strains, including strain HO-5, shared a G3-P(12)-I6-R2-C2-M3-A10-N2-T3-E2-H7 genotype constellation, and all of their 11 gene segments were highly conserved, regardless of the year of isolation. G14 strains also exhibited an identical genotype constellation (G14-P(12)-I2-R2-C2-M3-A10-N2-T3-E2-H7), but, phylogenetically, segregated into two lineages within the VP7-G14 and NSP4-E2 genotypes. G14 strains were closely related to G3 strains in their VP4, VP1-3, NSP1-3 and NSP5 gene segments. Interestingly, the NSP4 gene of all G3 and G14 strains isolated in the late 1990s branched into a bovine-RVA-like NSP4 gene cluster. These results indicate that, apart from VP7, VP6, and NSP4 genes, the Japanese equine RVA strains share a highly conserved genetic backbone, and that strains possessing a bovine-RVA-like NSP4 gene were predominant in the late 1990s in Japan.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: May 1, 2015
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