The majority of human group A rotaviruses possess the P VP4 genotype. Recently, a genetically distinct subtype of the P genotype, also known as OP354-like P or lineage P-4, emerged in several countries. However, it is unclear for how long the OP354-like P gene has been circulating in humans and how it has spread. In a global collaborative effort 98 (near-)complete OP354-like P 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 gene were seeded to Africa, Europe, and North America. The time to the most recent common ancestor (TMRCA) of all OP354-like P genes was estimated at 1987. However, most OP354-like P strains were found in threemain clusters with TMRCAs estimated between 1996 and 2001. The VP7 gene segment of OP354-like P strains showed evidence of frequent reassortment, even in localized epidemics, suggesting that OP354- like P genes behave in a similar manner on the evolutionary level as other P subtypes. The results of this study suggest that OP354-like P 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 subtypes, might result in a lower vaccine effectiveness, underscoring the need for a continued surveillance of OP354-like P strains, especially in countries where rotavirus vaccination programs are in place.
- Emerging viruses
- OP354-like P