Rotavirus G1P strains account for more than half of the group A rotavirus (RVA) infections in children under five years of age, globally. A total of 103 stool samples previously characterized as G1P and collected seven years before and seven years after introducing the Rotarix® vaccine in South Africa were processed for whole-genome sequencing. All the strains analyzed had a Wa-like constellation (G1-P-I1-R1-C1-M1-A1-N1-T1-E1-H1). South African preand post-vaccine G1 strains were clustered in G1 lineage-I and II while the majority (84.2%) of the P strains were grouped in P lineage-III. Several amino acid sites across ten gene segments with the exception of VP7 were under positive selective pressure. Except for the N147D substitution in the antigenic site of eight post-vaccine G1 strains when compared to both Rotarix® and pre-vaccine strains, most of the amino acid substitutions in the antigenic regions of post-vaccine G1P strains were already present during the pre-vaccine period. Therefore, Rotarix® did not appear to have an impact on the amino acid differences in the antigenic regions of South African post-vaccine G1P strains. However, continued whole-genome surveillance of RVA strains to decipher genetic changes in the post-vaccine period remains imperative.
- Rotavirus strains
- Wa-like constellation