Emerging OP354-Like P[8] rotaviruses have rapidly dispersed from Asia to other continents

Mark Zeller*, Elisabeth Heylen, Susan Damanka, Corinna Pietsch, Celeste Donato, Tsutomu Tamura, Ruta Kulkarni, Ritu Arora, Nigel Cunliffe, Leena Maunula, Christiaan Potgieter, Sana Tamim, Sarah De Coster, Elena Zhirakovskaya, Salwa Bdour, Helen O'Shea, Carl D. Kirkwood, Mapaseka Seheri, Martin Monene Nyaga, Jeffrey MphahleleShobha D. Chitambar, Ron Dagan, George Armah, Nina Tikunova, Marc Van Ranst, Jelle Matthijnssens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The majority of human group A rotaviruses possess the P[8] VP4 genotype. Recently, a genetically distinct subtype of the P[8] genotype, also known as OP354-like P[8] or lineage P[8]-4, emerged in several countries. However, it is unclear for how long the OP354-like P[8] gene has been circulating in humans and how it has spread. In a global collaborative effort 98 (near-)complete OP354-like P[8] VP4 sequences were obtained and used for phylogeographic analysis to determine the viral migration patterns. During the sampling period, 1988-2012, we found that South and East Asia acted as a source from which strains with the OP354-like P[8] gene were seeded to Africa, Europe, and North America. The time to the most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) of all OP354-like P[8] genes was estimated at 1987. However, most OP354-like P[8] strains were found in threemain clusters with TMRCAs estimated between 1996 and 2001. The VP7 gene segment of OP354-like P[8] strains showed evidence of frequent reassortment, even in localized epidemics, suggesting that OP354- like P[8] genes behave in a similar manner on the evolutionary level as other P[8] subtypes. The results of this study suggest that OP354-like P[8] strains have been able to disperse globally in a relatively short time period. This, in combination with a relatively large genetic distance to other P[8] subtypes, might result in a lower vaccine effectiveness, underscoring the need for a continued surveillance of OP354-like P[8] strains, especially in countries where rotavirus vaccination programs are in place.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2060-2071
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Biology and Evolution
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015


  • Emerging viruses
  • OP354-like P[8]
  • Reassortment
  • Rotaviruses


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