Equine group A rotaviruses (RVAs) cause diarrhoea in foals. We investigated the G genotypes of 360 RVA-positive samples obtained from diarrhoeic foals between 2012 and 2018 in the Hidaka district of Hokkaido, Japan, through sequence analysis of VP7. All samples were classified into genotypes G3A, G3B and G14. G3B RVAs were detected until 2016, and G3A RVAs were detected from 2016 to 2018. G14 RVAs were detected from 2012 to 2018. Although G3B RVAs had been circulating in Japan for a long time, G3A RVAs suddenly emerged in 2016, and have replaced G3B RVAs since 2017. Molecular analyses of VP7 and VP4 showed that these Japanese G3A RVAs are closely related to North American G3A RVAs detected in 2017. Additionally, whole-genome analyses suggested that genetic reassortments occurred between G3A and G14 RVAs in NSP1, NSP2, NSP4 and NSP5.
Keywords: G14; G3; Japan; epidemiology; equine; group A rotavirus.