Full-length genome analysis of the first human G8P rotavirus strain from Morocco suggests evidence of zoonotic transmission
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An unusual group A rotavirus (RVA) strain MAR/ma31/2011/G8P was detected for the first time in Morocco in a stool sample from hospitalized child aged 18 months suffering from acute gastroenteritis and fever in 2011. Complete genome sequencing of the ma31 strain was done using the capillary sequencing technology. The analysis revealed the G8-P-I2-R2-C2-M2-A11-N2-T6-E2-H3 constellation and the backbone genes: I2-R2-C2-M2-A11-N2-T6-E2-H3 are commonly found in RVA strains from artiodactyls such as cattle. The constellation was shared with another Italian zoonotic G8P strains (BA01 and BA02), two Hungarian human strains (182-02 and BP1062) and a sheep RVA strain OVR762. Phylogenetic analysis of each genome segment of ma31 revealed a mixed gene configuration originated from animals and human. Comparison of the antigenic regions of VP7 and VP4 amino acid sequences between ma31 strain and selected animal and human strains bearing G8 and or P, showed a high level of conservation, while many substitutions was observed in comparison with RotaTeq™ and Rotarix™ vaccine strains. In contrast, alignment analysis of the four antigenic sites of VP6 revealed a high degree of conservation. These findings reveal a typical zoonotic origin of the strain and confirm a high potential for RVA zoonotic transmission between bovine and humans, allowing the generation of novel rotavirus genotypes.
KeywordsGroup A rotavirus G8P genotype Reassortment Phylogenetic analysis Morocco
This study was supported by the National Center for Scientific and Technical Research (CNRST) and the Military Health Service. There was no involvement of the funding sources in carrying out this work from its conception to the data analysis, article writing and its submission for publication.
NT and EE conceived and designed the study. SA and MM carried out the experiments. SA, MM and ME performed the data analysis. SA wrote the draft. NT, EE, MM and ME reviewed the manuscript. All the authors read the final version of the manuscript and approved it for publication.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Ethical approval for this study was obtained from the Biomedical Research Ethics Committee of the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy of Rabat, Mohamed V University, Morocco following the guidelines set by the Declaration of Helsinki.
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