Numerous rotavirus group A (RVA) strains with distinct G-genotype and P-genotype combinations have been described infecting humans worldwide. However, the increasing amount of complete RVA genome data which have become available, suggest that only RVA strains with 2 discrete genotype constellations have been successful in sustaining infection of humans worldwide over longer periods of time. Those genotype constellations have been designated I1-R1-C1-M1-A1-N1-T1-E1-H1 and I2-R2-C2-M2-A2-N2-T2-E2-H2 and are also known as Wa-like and DS-1-like, respectively. RVAs of other genotype constellations which were able to spread to a limited extent in the human population are AU-1-related RVA strains (I3-R3-C3-M3-A3/A12-N3-T3-E3-H3/H6) in combination with G3P or G12P, and neonatal G10P RVA strains in India (bovine×human Wa-like reassortants). On the basis of the analysis of complete genomes, it is suggested that the overall genetic diversity of epidemiologically widespread human RVA strains is more limited than generally assumed. This conclusion has consequences for how we look at host range restriction and the criteria according to which the effectiveness of RVA universal mass vaccination programs is assessed.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.