Rotaviruses are dynamic pathogens that have been shown to infect multiple species. In 2006, two G4P rotavirus strains with porcine characteristics were detected in Santa Fe, Argentina. To further characterize and determine the origin of these strains, nearly the full length of their genome was sequenced. While most of the genome segments were from porcine origin, the two strains grouped in different phylogenetic clusters in five out of the 11 genes, suggesting two independent interspecies transmission events. This study expands our knowledge of G4 rotavirus and reinforces the use of complete genome analyses as a key tool for diversity and evolution mechanicisms.
We sought datasets with granular age distributions of rotavirus-positive disease presentations among children <5 years of age, before the introduction of rotavirus vaccines. We identified 117 datasets and fit parametric age distributions to each country dataset and mortality stratum. We calculated the median age and the cumulative proportion of rotavirus gastroenteritis events expected to occur at ages between birth and 5.0 years. The median age of rotavirus-positive hospital admissions was 38 weeks (interquartile range [IQR], 25–58 weeks) in countries with very high child mortality and 65 weeks (IQR, 40–107 weeks) in countries with very low or low child mortality. In countries with very high child mortality, 69% of rotavirus-positive admissions in children <5 years of age were in the first year of life, with 3% by 10 weeks, 8% by 15 weeks, and 27% by 26 weeks. This information is critical for assessing the potential benefits of alternative rotavirus vaccination schedules in different countries and for monitoring program impact.
Norovirus is a major cause of acute gastroenteritis worldwide. Over 30 different genotypes, mostly from genogroup I (GI) and II (GII), have been shown to infect humans. Despite three decades of genome sequencing, our understanding of the role of genomic diversification across continents and time is incomplete. To close the spatiotemporal gap of genomic information of human noroviruses, we conducted a large-scale genome-wide analyses that included the nearly full-length sequencing of 281 archival viruses circulating since the 1970s in over 10 countries from four continents, with a major emphasis on norovirus genotypes that are currently underrepresented in public genome databases. We provided new genome information for 24 distinct genotypes, including the oldest genome information from 12 norovirus genotypes. Analyses of this new genomic information, together with those publicly available, showed that (i) noroviruses evolve at similar rates across genomic regions and genotypes; (ii) emerging viruses evolved from transiently-circulating intermediate viruses; (iii) diversifying selection on the VP1 protein was recorded in genotypes with multiple variants; (iv) non-structural proteins showed a similar branching on their phylogenetic trees; and (v) contrary to the current understanding, there are restrictions on the ability to recombine different genomic regions, which results in co-circulating populations of viruses evolving independently in human communities. This study provides a comprehensive genetic analysis of diverse norovirus genotypes and the role of non-structural proteins on viral diversification, shedding new light on the mechanisms of norovirus evolution and transmission.
Argentina incorporated rotavirus massive vaccination in 2015. No specific strategy has been designed to accurately measure the impact of this recent introduction on the diarrhoeal disease burden in our country. We assessed post-vaccine introduction data (all-cause acute diarrhoea and rotavirus laboratory-confirmed cases, and genotype distribution), compared with pre-vaccination period in children under 5 years of age in Argentina. Cross-sectional ecologic analysis was conducted with data from the Argentine Surveillance Health System. Endemic channel and global and seasonal incidence rates of pre- and post-vaccination periods were calculated and further compared. Conventional binary genotypification on rotavirus-positive samples was also performed. In post-vaccination period, a global decrease of 20.8% in the rate of all-cause acute diarrhoea cases was found. The endemic channel showed that declination was more significant in the autumn/winter season. Rotavirus laboratory-confirmed cases showed 61.7% of reduction and the weekly distribution analyses indicated a significant flattening of the expected seasonal peak. G2P was the most prevalent circulating genotype (57.2%). This study represents the first assessment of diarrhoeal disease burden since rotavirus massive vaccination strategy was implemented in Argentina. This introduction represented a successful intervention due to the significant decrease in all-cause acute diarrhoea cases and rotavirus laboratory-confirmed cases.
Noroviruses are a leading cause of endemic and epidemic acute gastroenteritis in all age groups. However, in Latin America, there are limited and updated data regarding circulating genotypes. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence and genetic diversity of norovirus outbreaks in Argentina from 2013 to 2018. Stool samples from 29 acute gastroenteritis (AGE) outbreaks were available for viral testing. Norovirus was detected in samples from 18 (62.1%) outbreaks (2 GI and 16 GII). Both GI outbreaks were typed as GI.6[P11] whereas 10 different GII genotypes were detected, in which GII.4 viruses were the most frequently detected (29.4%, associated with GII.P31 and GII.P16) followed by GII.1[P33] and GII.6[P7] (17.6% each). Like GII.4 viruses, GII.2 viruses were also detected in association with different polymerases (GII.P2 and GII.P16). Our findings underscore the importance of dual RNA‐dependent RNA polymerase‐VP1 typing since recombinant strains with new polymerase sequences emerge frequently suggesting a possible role in improved fitness of these viruses. This study represents the most recent multi‐year assessment of the molecular epidemiology of norovirus strains associated with AGE outbreaks in Argentina. Molecular surveillance of norovirus has to be considered to monitor possible changes in dominant genotypes which may assist to inform the formulation of future vaccines.
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