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Sequence Diversity of VP4 and VP7 Genes of Human Rotavirus Strains in Saudi Arabia

Abdel-Moneim, Ahmed S., Al-Malky, Mater I. R., Alsulaimani, Adnan A. A., Abuelsaad, Abdelaziz S.A., Mohamed, Imad, Ismail, Ayman K.
Foodborne pathogens & disease 2015 v.12 no.12 pp. 937-944
RNA, Rotavirus A, amino acid substitution, antigen detection, children, diarrhea, disease control, epitopes, feces, genes, genotype, humans, monitoring, phylogeny, prediction, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, screening, sequence diversity, vaccines, viruses, Saudi Arabia
Group A rotavirus is responsible for inducing severe diarrhea in young children worldwide. Rotavirus vaccines are used to control the disease in many countries. In the current study, the sequences of human rotavirus G and P types in Saudi Arabia are reported and compared to different relevant published sequences. In addition, the VP4 and VP7 genes of the G1P[8] strains are compared to different antigenic epitopes of the rotavirus vaccines. Stool samples were collected from children under 2 years suffering from severe diarrhea. Screening of the rotavirus-positive samples was performed with rapid antigen detection kit. RNA was amplified from rotavirus-positive samples by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction assay for both VP4 and VP7 genes. Direct sequencing of the VP4 and VP7 genes was conducted and the obtained sequences were compared to each other and to the rotavirus vaccines. Both G1P[8] G1P[4] genotypes were detected. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the detected strains belong to G1 lineage 1 and 2, P[8] lineage 3, and to P[4] lineage 5. Multiple amino acid substitutions were detected between the Saudi RVA strains and the commonly used vaccines. The current findings emphasize the importance of the continuous surveillance of the circulating rotavirus strains, which is crucial for monitoring virus evolution and helping in predicting the protection level afforded by rotavirus vaccines.