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Heterogeneity and dynamics of evolution of G1 human rotavirus in Palermo: alternate circulation of different lineages and sub-lineages

  • Authors: Arista, S.; Giammanco, G.; DE GRAZIA, S.; Ramirez, S.; LO BIUNDO, C.; Colomba, C.; Cascio, A.; Martella, V.
  • Publication year: 2006
  • Type: eedings
  • Key words: rotavirus, G1
  • OA Link:


A rotavirus sample collection from 19 consecutive years was used to investigate the heterogeneity and the dynamics of evolution of G1 rotavirus strains in a geographically defined population. Phylogenetic analysis of the VP7 gene sequences of G1P[8] human rotavirus strains showed the circulation of a heterogeneous population comprising three lineages and seven sublineages. Increases in the circulation of G1 rotaviruses were apparently associated with the introduction of novel G1 strains that exhibited multiple amino acid changes in antigenic regions involved in rotavirus neutralization compared to the strains circulating in the previous years. The emergence and/or introduction of G1 antigenic variants might be responsible for the continuous circulation of G1 rotaviruses in the local population, with the various lineages and sublineages appearing, disappearing, or cocirculating in an alternate fashion under the influence of immune-pressure mechanisms. Sequence analysis of VP4-encoding genes of the G1 strains revealed that the older strains were associated with a unique VP4 lineage, while a novel VP4 lineage emerged after 1995. The introduction of human rotavirus vaccines might alter the forces and balances that drive rotavirus evolution and determine the spread of novel strains that are antigenically different from those included in the vaccine formulations. The continuous emergence of VP7-VP4 gene combinations in human rotavirus strains should be taken into consideration when devising vaccination strategies.