Molecular characterization of VP4, VP6 and VP7 genes of a rare G8P[14] rotavirus strain detected in an infant with gastroenteritis in Italy

Virus Res. 2008 Oct;137(1):163-7. doi: 10.1016/j.virusres.2008.07.005. Epub 2008 Aug 15.


In this study, the molecular characterization of a rare G8P[14] group A rotavirus (GARV) strain detected in Northern Italy during the 2004-2005 epidemiological rotavirus season is described. Two hundred and seventy three rotavirus-like particle positive stools out of 856 stools from children (31.9%) hospitalized with gastroenteritis were analyzed using polyacrilamide gel electrophoresis and 271 GARVs were genotyped by VP7 and VP4 specific RT-PCRs. One strain (PR/1300/04) with a long electropherotype (e-type) displayed the G8 specificity and was VP4 un-typeable. The P and the subgroup (SG) specificities were determined by sequencing the VP4 and the VP6 gene, respectively. The PR/1300/04 strain exhibited P[14] and SGI specificities. By sequence and phylogenetic analyses of the VP4, VP6 and VP7 amplicons, the PR/1300/04 VP4 and VP6 genes were demonstrated to be of human rotavirus origin, with the VP4 gene closely related to the human Italian PA169 strain (G6P[14]), while the VP7 gene was of animal origin (bovine). These data suggest that the Italian PR/1300/04 strain could be a reassortant between a PA169-like Italian strain with P[14] specificity, long e-type and SGI, and a G8 animal strain. The increasing number of reports of atypical GARVs in humans suggests that interspecies transmission of genes greatly contributes to the GARV genetic evolution.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antigens, Viral / genetics*
  • Capsid Proteins / chemistry
  • Capsid Proteins / genetics*
  • Feces / virology
  • Gastroenteritis / virology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Italy
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • Reassortant Viruses / genetics
  • Rotavirus / classification
  • Rotavirus / genetics*
  • Rotavirus / isolation & purification
  • Rotavirus Infections / virology*
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid


  • Antigens, Viral
  • Capsid Proteins
  • VP4 protein, Rotavirus
  • VP6 protein, Rotavirus
  • VP7 protein, Rotavirus

Associated data

  • GENBANK/EU835943
  • GENBANK/EU835944
  • GENBANK/EU835945