Human rotavirus strains having the unconventional G4P genotype have been sporadically identified in diarrheic patients in different parts of the world. However, the whole genome of only one human G4P strain from Africa (central Africa) has been sequenced and analyzed, and thus the exact origin and evolutionary pattern of African G4P strains remain to be elucidated. In this study, we characterized the full genome of an African G4P strain (RVA/Human-wt/KEN/KCH148/2019/G4P) identified in a stool specimen from a diarrheic child in Kenya. Full genome analysis of strain KCH148 revealed a unique Wa-like genogroup constellation: G4-P-I1-R1-C1-M1-A1-N1-T7-E1-H1. NSP3 genotype T7 is commonly found in porcine rotavirus strains. Furthermore, phylogenetic analysis showed that 10 of the 11 genes of strain KCH148 (VP7, VP4, VP6, VP1-VP3, NSP1, and NSP3-NSP5) appeared to be of porcine origin, the remaining NSP2 gene appearing to be of human origin. Therefore, strain KCH148 was found to have a porcine rotavirus backbone and thus is likely to be of porcine origin. Furthermore, strain KCH148 is assumed to have been derived through interspecies transmission and reassortment events involving porcine and human rotavirus strains. To our knowledge, this is the first report on full genome-based characterization of a human G4P strain from east Africa. Our observations demonstrated the diversity of human G4P strains in Africa, and provide important insights into the origin and evolutionary pattern of zoonotic G4P strains on the African continent.
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