Rotaviruses A are genetically diverse.
Rotaviruses are responsible for increased mortality in neonatal swine populations. They are different genetically and more studies are needed to characterize their diversity. This is the objective of this study coordinated by Dr. Marthaler’s lab focusing on rotaviruses strains found in Canada.
Viral proteins 7 and 4 are used for rotavirus A classification.
Rotaviruses are classified based on two viral proteins (VP) found on their outer capsid called respectively VP7 and VP4. Those two proteins are also essential to induce an efficient immune response against the virus. This project characterized VP7 and VP4 sequences in 136 Canadian samples and compared them with the strains used in a rotavirus commercial vaccine.
The VP7 (n=32) and partial VP4 (n=25) were analyzed, identifying the G3P, G5P, G5P[x], G9P, G9P, G9P, and G9P[x] genotypes.
Minimal differences in the antigenic epitopes for the G5, G9, and P strains were identified.
Major differences in the antigenic epitopes of the G3, P, and P may question the effectiveness of the ProSystems RCE RVA.
Surveillance of Rotavirus A (RVA) infections in North America swine populations are limited and not performed over a significant time period to properly assess the diversity of RVA strains in swine. The VP7 (G) and VP4 (P) genes of 32 Canadian RVA strains, circulating between 2009 and 2015 were sequenced, identifying the G3P, G5P, G9P, G9, and G9 genotype combinations. The Canadian RVA strains were compared to the RVA strains present in the swine ProSystems RCE rotavirus vaccine. The comparison revealed multiple amino acid differences in the G and P antigenic epitopes, regardless of the G and P genotypes but specifically in the Canadian G3, P and P genotypes. Our study further contributes to the characterization of RVA’s evolution and disease mitigation among swine, which may optimize target vaccine design, thereby minimizing RVA disease in this economically important animal population.