Reviews of the global distribution of rotavirus genotypes have revealed the continuous circulation of G8 strains in Africa, often responsible for more cases of rotavirus disease than the more common G1-G4 rotavirus strains. During the study, genotype G8 strains from Malawi, Kenya, and South Africa were detected and the VP7 and VP4 genes of selected specimens were sequenced. Results indicated that G8 strains appeared to reassort frequently and were associated with P, P, and P specificity. Phylogenetic analysis suggested that G8 strains occurred in a North/South African phylogenetic divide. In addition, G8 strains appear to be able to infect non-human primates and strains with close phylogenetic relationships were detected in the same year on two continents. Any rotavirus vaccine introduced into African environments will need to demonstrate protective efficacy against unusual genotype combinations, new serotypes, and animal strains. Therefore, continuous monitoring of rotavirus strains in human and animal populations in Africa is a necessity. J. Med. Virol. 82:2073-2081, 2010.
- G8 rotavirus