Group A rotavirus (RVA) rarely causes severe complications such as encephalitis/encephalopathy. However, the pathophysiology of this specific complication remains unclear. Next-generation sequence analysis was used to compare the entire genome sequences of RVAs detected in patients with encephalitis/encephalopathy and gastroenteritis. This study enrolled eight patients with RVA encephalitis/encephalopathy and 10 with RVA gastroenteritis who were treated between February 2013 and July 2014. Viral RNAs were extracted from patients' stool, and whole-genome sequencing analysis was carried out to identify the specific gene mutations in RVA obtained from patients with severe neurological complications. Among the eight encephalitis/encephalopathy cases, six strains were DS-1-like G1P and the remaining two were Wa-like G1P (G1-P-I1-R1-C1-M1-A1-N1-T1-E1-H1). Meanwhile, eight of the 10 viruses detected in rotavirus gastroenteritis patients were DS-1-like G1P, and the remaining two were Wa-like G1P. These strains were further characterized by conducting phylogenetic analysis. No specific clustering was demonstrated in RVAs detected from encephalitis/encephalopathy patients. Although the DS-1-like G1P strain was predominant in both groups, no specific molecular characteristics were detected in RVAs from patients with severe central nervous system complications.
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