Genome sequence analysis of a novel rotavirus strain indicates a broad genetic diversity of rotavirus A in shrews

Rotavirus A (RVA) is an etiologic agent of diarrhea in humans and animals. It shows a high degree of genetic heterogeneity. Although distinct associations of RVA genotypes with certain host species are common, interspecies-transmission has also been described. Recently, RVA strains, which are genetically distinct and cluster basally to all other RVA strains in phylogenetic trees, have been identified in common shrews (Sorex araneus). Here, the genome sequence analysis of another RVA strain (RVA/Common Shrew-wt/GER/KS11–0893/2010/G42P[58]) from a common shrew from Germany is described. Generally, the strain shows low sequence identities to established strains, which is reflected by the assessment of the novel genotypes G42-P[58]-I32-R28-C24-M24-A39-N28-T28-E32-H28 to its genome segments. Specifically, the strain is phylogenetically distant from previously described RVA strains of common shrews, whereas it is more closely related to other avian and mammalian RVA strains including those from Asian house shrews (Suncus murinus). The results indicate that a broad variety of diverse RVA strains can be found in shrews suggesting a significant role of these animals in rotavirus evolution.


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