The emergence of unusual G9P-E2 human rotaviruses in the Tokyo metropolitan area, Japan, in 2018 has been reported. During rotavirus strain surveillance in different regions of Japan (Mie, Okayama, and Chiba prefectures), G9P-E2 strains were detected in children with diarrhea from all three prefectures. Here, we characterized the whole genome of seven representative G9P-E2 strains. In the full-genome-based analysis, the seven study strains exhibited a unique genotype configuration with the NSP4 gene of genogroup 2 in a genogroup 1 genomic backbone: G9-P-I1-R1-C1-M1-A1-N1-T1-E2-H1. This genotype constellation was shared by the Tokyo G9P-E2 strains. Phylogenetic analysis showed that all 11 genes, except NSP4, of the seven study strains appeared to have originated from co-circulating Wa-like G9P-E1 strains. In contrast, NSP4 appeared to have originated from the co-circulating DS-1-like G2P-E2 strains. Thus, G9P-E2 strains appear to be derived through reassortment between G9P-E1 and G2P-E2 strains in Japan. Notably, the seven study G9P-E2 strains and Tokyo G9P-E2 strains were revealed to have 11-segment genomes almost indistinguishable from one another in their sequences (99.3–100%), indicating all these G9P-E2 strains had a common origin. To our knowledge, this is the first description of the rapid spread of G9P-E2 strains across a country.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases