During group A rotavirus (RVA) surveillance of pig farms in Japan, we detected three RVA strains (G4P, G5P, and G9P genotypes), which showed super-short RNA patterns by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, in samples from a healthy eight-day-old pig and two pigs of seven and eight days old with diarrhea from three farms. Reverse transcription PCR and sequencing revealed that the full-length NSP5 gene of these strains contained 952 or 945 nucleotides, which is consistent with their super-short electropherotypes. Due to a lack of whole genome data on Japanese porcine RVAs, we performed whole genomic analyses of the three strains. The genomic segments of these RVA strains showed typical porcine RVA constellations, except for H2 NSP5 genotype, (G4,5,9-P[6,7,23]-I5-R1-C1-M1-A8-N1-T1-E1-H2 representing VP7-VP4-VP6-VP1-VP2-VP3-NSP1-NSP2-NSP3-NSP4-NSP5 genes). In phylogenetic analyses, these porcine RVA strains clustered with porcine and porcine-like human RVA strains and showed a typical porcine RVA backbone, except for the NSP5 gene; however, intra-genotype reassortment events among porcine and porcine-like human RVA strains were observed. The NSP5 gene segments of these strains were clustered within the H2b genotype with super-short human RVA strains. The H2 genotype has to date only been identified in human and lapine RVA strains. Thus, to our knowledge, this report presents the first case of H2 NSP5 genotype showing a super-short RNA pattern in porcine RVA. These data suggest the possibility of interspecies transmission between pigs and humans and imply that super-short porcine RVA strains possessing H2 genotype are circulating among both asymptomatic and diarrheic porcine populations in Japan.
Keywords: H2 genotype; Interspecies transmission; Japan; Pig; Rotavirus; Super-short electropherotype.
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