Special Issue "Rotavirus Epidemiology: Host, Climate and Vaccine Influences"

A special issue of Pathogens (ISSN 2076-0817).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2018).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Anastasia N. Vlasova
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Food Animal Health Research Program, Ohio Research and Development Center, Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, College of Food and Agricultural Sciences, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
Interests: innate immunity; microbiome; nutrition; viral epidemiology; vaccines; rotaviruses; coronaviruses

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Rotaviruses (RVs) are a major cause of acute viral gastroenteritis in young animals and children worldwide. Immunocompetent adults of different species are resistant to clinical disease due to post-infection immunity, immune system maturation and physiological changes of the gut. Of the nine RV genogroups (A-I) currently identified, RV A, B, and C (RVA, RVB, and RVC, respectively) are the most common groups that infect humans and animals, with the highest prevalence of RVA strains that represent one of the most significant causes of acute dehydrating diarrhea from public health and veterinary health perspectives. RVA, RVB, RVC, RVE, RVH and RVI have been detected in sporadic, endemic or epidemic infections of various mammalian species including humans, whereas RVD, RVF and RVG are exclusively found in poultry. For highly genetically diverse RVA strains, 27 different G- and 37 P-genotypes have been described in humans and animals to date, while genotype classification is being developed for other groups. RVs are characterized by clear seasonality and substantial spatio-temporal variations of the genotype and genogroup prevalence. Despite the availability and routine use of commercial vaccines in humans and animals, morbidity and mortality remain high in neonates and children under five in developing countries. This emphasizes the need for improved understanding of the factors influencing susceptibility to and increased severity of RV diarrhea observed in some populations. Additionally, additional studies to understand the increased ability of some genogroups/genotypes to generate re-assorted variants and cross interspecies barriers are needed, including the potential interactions of different porcine RV genotypes with histo-blood group antigens, commensal microbiota and other intestinal pathogens.

In this Special Issue, we will summarize the current knowledge on RV geography and different host-related and environmental factors that influence it and discuss how can this information be used to improve rotavirus control and alleviate the diarrheal burden in humans and animals.

Prof. Dr. Anastasia N. Vlasova
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • Rotaviurus epidemiology
  • rotavirus vaccines
  • histo-blood group antigens
  • rotavirus immunity
  • rotavirus pathogenesis
  • diet

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Genome Characterization of a Pathogenic Porcine Rotavirus B Strain Identified in Buryat Republic, Russia in 2015
Pathogens 2018, 7(2), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens7020046 - 20 Apr 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
An outbreak of enteric disease of unknown etiology with 60% morbidity and 8% mortality in weaning piglets occurred in November 2015 on a farm in Buryat Republic, Russia. Metagenomic sequencing revealed the presence of rotavirus B in feces from diseased piglets while no [...] Read more.
An outbreak of enteric disease of unknown etiology with 60% morbidity and 8% mortality in weaning piglets occurred in November 2015 on a farm in Buryat Republic, Russia. Metagenomic sequencing revealed the presence of rotavirus B in feces from diseased piglets while no other pathogens were identified. Clinical disease was reproduced in experimentally infected piglets, yielding the 11 RVB gene segments for strain Buryat15, with an RVB genotype constellation of G12-P[4]-I13-R4-C4-M4-A8-N10-T4-E4-H7. This genotype constellation has also been identified in the United States. While the Buryat15 VP7 protein lacked unique amino acid differences in the predicted neutralizing epitopes compared to the previously published swine RVB G12 strains, this report of RVB in Russian swine increases our epidemiological knowledge on the global prevalence and genetic diversity of RVB. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rotavirus Epidemiology: Host, Climate and Vaccine Influences)
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Open AccessArticle
Whole Genome Classification and Phylogenetic Analyses of Rotavirus B strains from the United States
Pathogens 2018, 7(2), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens7020044 - 18 Apr 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Rotaviruses (RVs) are a major etiological agent of acute viral gastroenteritis in humans and young animals, with rotavirus B (RVB) often detected in suckling and weaned pigs. Group A rotavirus classification is currently based on the two outer capsid proteins, VP7 and VP4, [...] Read more.
Rotaviruses (RVs) are a major etiological agent of acute viral gastroenteritis in humans and young animals, with rotavirus B (RVB) often detected in suckling and weaned pigs. Group A rotavirus classification is currently based on the two outer capsid proteins, VP7 and VP4, and the middle layer protein, VP6. Using RVB strains generated in this study and reference sequences from GenBank, pairwise identity frequency graphs and phylogenetic trees were constructed for the eleven gene segments of RVB to estimate the nucleotide identity cutoff values for different genotypes and determine the genotype diversity per gene segment. Phylogenetic analysis of VP7, VP4, VP6, VP1–VP3, and NSP1–NSP5 identified 26G, 5P, 13I, 5R, 5C, 5M, 8A, 10N, 6T, 4E, and 7H genotypes, respectively. The analysis supports the previously proposed cutoff values for the VP7, VP6, NSP1, and NSP3 gene segments (80%, 81%, 76% and 78%, respectively) and suggests new cutoff values for the VP4, VP1, VP2, VP3, NSP2, NSP4, and NSP5 (80%, 78%, 79%, 77% 83%, 76%, and 79%, respectively). Reassortment events were detected between the porcine RVB strains from our study. This research describes the genome constellations for the complete genome of Group B rotaviruses in different host species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rotavirus Epidemiology: Host, Climate and Vaccine Influences)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Species C Rotaviruses in Children with Diarrhea in India, 2010–2013: A Potentially Neglected Cause of Acute Gastroenteritis
Pathogens 2018, 7(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens7010023 - 17 Feb 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
All over the world, children and adults are severely affected by acute gastroenteritis, caused by one of the emerging enteric pathogens, rotavirus C (RVC). At present, no extensive surveillance program is running for RVC in India, and its prevalence is largely unknown except [...] Read more.
All over the world, children and adults are severely affected by acute gastroenteritis, caused by one of the emerging enteric pathogens, rotavirus C (RVC). At present, no extensive surveillance program is running for RVC in India, and its prevalence is largely unknown except cases of local outbreaks. Here, we intended to detect the presence of RVC in diarrheic children visiting or admitted to hospitals in Haldwani (state of Uttarakhand, India), a city located in the foothills of the Himalayas. During 2010–2013, we screened 119 samples for RVC by an RVC VP6 gene-specific RT-PCR. Of these, 38 (31.93%) were found positive, which is higher than the incidence rates reported so far from India. The phylogenetic analysis of the derived nucleotide sequences from one of the human RVC (HuRVC) isolates, designated as HuRVC/H28/2013/India, showed that the study isolate belongs to genotype I2, P2 and E2 for RVC structural genes 6 and 4 (VP6, and VP4) and non-structural gene 4 (NSP4), respectively. Furthermore, the VP6 gene of HuRVC/H28/2013/India shows the highest similarity to a recently-reported human-like porcine RVC (PoRVC/ASM140/2013/India, KT932963) from India suggesting zoonotic transmission. We also report a full-length NSP4 gene sequence of human RVC from India. Under the One-health platforms there is a need to launch combined human and animal RVC surveillance programs for a better understanding of the epidemiology of RVC infections and for implementing control strategies.Reoviridae, possess 11 double-stranded segments of RNA that encode six structural viral proteins (VP1, VP2, VP3, VP4, VP6, VP7) and five/six non-structural proteins (NSP1–NSP5/6) [7]. Based on the antigenic properties of the major inner capsid protein (VP6), RVs are subdivided into eight well-characterized species (A–H) and two putative species viz. I and J [8–10]. Humans and other mammalian species are affected by species A, B, C and H rotaviruses and birds by species D, F and G, and species E has been reported exclusively in pigs [7,8,11–17]. The newly-proposed species I is reported in dogs [18] and cats [19], whereas species J is found in bats [10]. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rotavirus Epidemiology: Host, Climate and Vaccine Influences)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Longitudinal Surveillance of Porcine Rotavirus B Strains from the United States and Canada and In Silico Identification of Antigenically Important Sites
Pathogens 2017, 6(4), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens6040064 - 03 Dec 2017
Cited by 2
Abstract
Rotavirus B (RVB) is an important swine pathogen, but control and prevention strategies are limited without an available vaccine. To develop a subunit RVB vaccine with maximal effect, we characterized the amino acid sequence variability and predicted antigenicity of RVB viral protein 7 [...] Read more.
Rotavirus B (RVB) is an important swine pathogen, but control and prevention strategies are limited without an available vaccine. To develop a subunit RVB vaccine with maximal effect, we characterized the amino acid sequence variability and predicted antigenicity of RVB viral protein 7 (VP7), a major neutralizing antibody target, from clinically infected pigs in the United States and Canada. We identified genotype-specific antigenic sites that may be antibody neutralization targets. While some antigenic sites had high amino acid functional group diversity, nine antigenic sites were completely conserved. Analysis of nucleotide substitution rates at amino acid sites (dN/dS) suggested that negative selection appeared to be playing a larger role in the evolution of the identified antigenic sites when compared to positive selection, and was identified in six of the nine conserved antigenic sites. These results identified important characteristics of RVB VP7 variability and evolution and suggest antigenic residues on RVB VP7 that are negatively selected and highly conserved may be good candidate regions to include in a subunit vaccine design due to their tendency to remain stable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rotavirus Epidemiology: Host, Climate and Vaccine Influences)
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Open AccessArticle
Italian Physicians’ Opinions on Rotavirus Vaccine Implementation
Pathogens 2017, 6(4), 56; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens6040056 - 03 Nov 2017
Cited by 1
Abstract
Rotavirus (RV) infection is the main cause of severe acute gastroenteritis (GE) in the pediatric population and has a major impact in both developing and industrialized countries. The reduction of severe RVGE cases, followed by death or hospitalization, is considered the main benefit [...] Read more.
Rotavirus (RV) infection is the main cause of severe acute gastroenteritis (GE) in the pediatric population and has a major impact in both developing and industrialized countries. The reduction of severe RVGE cases, followed by death or hospitalization, is considered the main benefit of RV vaccination, even though its implementation often faces obstacles. In Italy, the recently approved National Immunization Plan aims to overcome the differences among regions, offering a universal free RV vaccination. The aim of the study was to evaluate the opinions on benefit and acceptability of RV vaccination related to the perception of the burden of RV disease. Data were collected from 108 physicians in 2015 by a questionnaire consisting of 12 questions; some answers were compared with those obtained with a similar tool in 2011. The majority of respondents (76.2%) was convinced of the benefit of the vaccine and 57.4% recommended it routinely, but more than half indicated a <25% adherence to RV vaccination among their patients. As the main reasons of vaccine refusal, skepticism about the vaccine (60.4%) and its cost (34.1%) were indicated. Our data confirm that more information and counselling are needed to increase RV vaccine coverage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rotavirus Epidemiology: Host, Climate and Vaccine Influences)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Avian Group D Rotaviruses: Structure, Epidemiology, Diagnosis, and Perspectives on Future Research Challenges
Pathogens 2017, 6(4), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens6040053 - 24 Oct 2017
Cited by 1
Abstract
In 1981, a new virus (virus 132) was described for the first time with morphological and biochemical similarities to rotaviruses (RVs), but without antigenic similarity to any of the previously known rotavirus groups. Subsequently, it was re-designated as D/132, and formed a new [...] Read more.
In 1981, a new virus (virus 132) was described for the first time with morphological and biochemical similarities to rotaviruses (RVs), but without antigenic similarity to any of the previously known rotavirus groups. Subsequently, it was re-designated as D/132, and formed a new serogroup among rotaviruses, the group D rotavirus (RVD). Since their identification, RVs are the leading cause of enteritis and diarrhea in humans and various animal species, and are also associated with abridged growth, particularly in avian species. Recently, RVD has been suggested to play a role in the pathogenesis of runting and stunting syndrome (RSS), alongside other viruses such as reovirus, astrovirus, coronavirus, and others, all of which cause colossal economic losses to the poultry industry. RVD has been reported from several countries worldwide, and to date, only one complete genome sequence for RVD is available. Neither an immunodiagnostic nor a vaccine is available for the detection and prevention of RVD infection. Despite our growing understanding about this particular group, questions remain regarding its exact prevalence and pathogenecity, and the disease-associated annual losses for the poultry industry. Here, we describe the current knowledge about the identification, epidemiology, diagnosis, and prevention of RVD in poultry. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rotavirus Epidemiology: Host, Climate and Vaccine Influences)
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Review

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Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Differences of Rotavirus Vaccine Effectiveness by Country: Likely Causes and Contributing Factors
Pathogens 2017, 6(4), 65; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens6040065 - 12 Dec 2017
Cited by 25
Abstract
Rotaviruses are a major cause of acute gastroenteritis in infants and young children worldwide and in many other mammalian and avian host species. Since 2006, two live-attenuated rotavirus vaccines, Rotarix® and RotaTeq®, have been licensed in >100 countries and are [...] Read more.
Rotaviruses are a major cause of acute gastroenteritis in infants and young children worldwide and in many other mammalian and avian host species. Since 2006, two live-attenuated rotavirus vaccines, Rotarix® and RotaTeq®, have been licensed in >100 countries and are applied as part of extended program of vaccination (EPI) schemes of childhood vaccinations. Whereas the vaccines have been highly effective in high-income countries, they were shown to be considerably less potent in low- and middle-income countries. Rotavirus-associated disease was still the cause of death in >200,000 children of <5 years of age worldwide in 2013, and the mortality is concentrated in countries of sub-Saharan Africa and S.E. Asia. Various factors that have been identified or suggested as being involved in the differences of rotavirus vaccine effectiveness are reviewed here. Recognition of these factors will help to achieve gradual worldwide improvement of rotavirus vaccine effectiveness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rotavirus Epidemiology: Host, Climate and Vaccine Influences)
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Other

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Open AccessBrief Report
First Detection of Rotavirus Group C in Asymptomatic Pigs of Smallholder Farms in East Africa
Pathogens 2017, 6(3), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens6030037 - 14 Aug 2017
Cited by 1
Abstract
Abstract: Group C rotavirus (RVC) has been described to be a causative agent of gastroenteritis in humans and animals including pigs, cows, and dogs. Fecal samples collected from asymptomatic pigs in smallholder swine farms in Kenya and Uganda were screened for the [...] Read more.
Abstract: Group C rotavirus (RVC) has been described to be a causative agent of gastroenteritis in humans and animals including pigs, cows, and dogs. Fecal samples collected from asymptomatic pigs in smallholder swine farms in Kenya and Uganda were screened for the presence of group C rotaviruses (RVC) using a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction assay. A total of 446 samples were tested and 37 were positive (8.3%). A significantly larger (p < 0.05) number of RVC-positive samples was detected in groups of older pigs (5–6 months) than in younger piglets (1–2 months). There were no significant differences in the RVC detection rate between the pigs that were full time housed/tethered and those that were free range combined with housing/tethering. After compiling these data with diagnostic results for group A rotaviruses (RVA), 13 RVC-positive samples were also positive for RVA. This study provides the first evidence that porcine group C rotavirus may be detected frequently in asymptomatic piglets (aged < 1–6 months) in East Africa. The occurrence of RVC in mixed infections with RVA and other enteric pathogens requires further research to investigate the pathogenic potential of RVC in pigs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rotavirus Epidemiology: Host, Climate and Vaccine Influences)
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