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Open AccessArticle

Generation of Simian Rotavirus Reassortants with VP4- and VP7-Encoding Genome Segments from Human Strains Circulating in Africa Using Reverse Genetics

1
Department of Biological Safety, German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, 12277 Berlin, Germany
2
Department of Microbial, Biochemical and Food Biotechnology, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein 9301, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2020, 12(2), 201; https://doi.org/10.3390/v12020201
Received: 18 December 2019 / Revised: 20 January 2020 / Accepted: 7 February 2020 / Published: 11 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Viruses)
Human rotavirus A (RVA) causes acute gastroenteritis in infants and young children. The broad use of two vaccines, which are based on RVA strains from Europe and North America, significantly reduced rotavirus disease burden worldwide. However, a lower vaccine effectiveness is recorded in some regions of the world, such as sub-Saharan Africa, where diverse RVA strains are circulating. Here, a plasmid-based reverse genetics system was used to generate simian RVA reassortants with VP4 and VP7 proteins derived from African human RVA strains not previously adapted to cell culture. We were able to rescue 1/3 VP4 mono-reassortants, 3/3 VP7 mono-reassortants, but no VP4/VP7 double reassortant. Electron microscopy showed typical triple-layered virus particles for the rescued reassortants. All reassortants stably replicated in MA-104 cells; however, the VP4 reassortant showed significantly slower growth compared to the simian RVA or the VP7 reassortants. The results indicate that, at least in cell culture, human VP7 has a high reassortment potential, while reassortment of human VP4 from unadapted human RVA strains with simian RVA seems to be limited. The characterized reassortants may be useful for future studies investigating replication and reassortment requirements of rotaviruses as well as for the development of next generation rotavirus vaccines. View Full-Text
Keywords: rotavirus; reassortment; VP4; VP7; plasmid-based reverse genetics system; SA11; zoonosis; vaccine rotavirus; reassortment; VP4; VP7; plasmid-based reverse genetics system; SA11; zoonosis; vaccine
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Falkenhagen, A.; Patzina-Mehling, C.; Gadicherla, A.K.; Strydom, A.; O’Neill, H.G.; Johne, R. Generation of Simian Rotavirus Reassortants with VP4- and VP7-Encoding Genome Segments from Human Strains Circulating in Africa Using Reverse Genetics. Viruses 2020, 12, 201.

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