The recombinant origin of emerging human norovirus GII.4/2008: intra-genotypic exchange of the capsid P2 domain.
ABSTRACT GII.4 noroviruses are a major cause of acute gastroenteritis in humans. A new variant of GII.4, the 2008 variant, has recently increased its prevalence on a global scale. A previous study of this variant in Japan suggested that it might be of recombinant origin, with a breakpoint at the ORF1-ORF2 junction. Here, examination of the evolutionary origin of the 2008 variant based on a larger sample of worldwide GII.4 norovirus sequences revealed a more complex pattern of recombination between the 2006a- and 2006b-like variants of genotype GII.4, involving the P2 antigenic domain. Double (termed '2008i') and triple (termed '2008ii') recombinant forms of 2008 variants were identified. This study highlights the possible importance of intra-genotypic recombination over antigenic regions in driving norovirus evolution, and is suggestive of a process analogous to the antigenic shift of influenza A virus by reassortment.
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ABSTRACT: Norovirus (NoV) is the leading cause of viral gastroenteritis globally. Since 1996, variants of a single genetic lineage, NoV GII.4, have been associated with at least five pandemics of acute gastroenteritis and caused between 62-80% of all NoV outbreaks. The emergence of these novel GII.4 variants has been attributed to rapid evolution and antigenic variation in response to herd immunity; however the contribution of recombination as a mechanism facilitating emergence is increasingly evident. In this study, we sought to examine the role that intra-genotype recombination has played in the emergence of GII.4 variants. Using a genome-wide approach, including 25 complete genome sequences generated as part of this study, eleven breakpoints were identified within the NoV GII.4 lineage. The breakpoints were located at three recombination hotspots; near the ORF1/2 and ORF2/3 overlaps, as well as within-ORF2, which encodes the viral capsid, at the junction of the shell and protruding domains. Importantly, we show that recombination contributed to the emergence of the most recent pandemic GII.4 variant, New Orleans 2009, and a newly identified GII.4 variant, termed Sydney 2012. Reconstructing the evolutionary history of the GII.4 lineage reveals the widespread impact of both inter- and intra-genotype recombination on the emergence of many GII.4 variants. Lastly, this study highlights the many challenges in the identification of true recombination events and proposes that guidelines be applied for identifying NoV recombinants.Journal of Virology 03/2013; · 5.08 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Noroviruses (NoVs) are a major cause of gastroenteritis worldwide in humans and animals and are known as very infectious viral agents. They are spread through feces and vomit via several transmission routes involving person-to-person contact, food, and water. Investigation of these transmission routes requires sensitive methods for detection of NoVs. As NoVs cannot be cultivated to date, detection of these viruses relies on the use of molecular methods such as (real-time) reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Regardless of the matrix, detection of NoVs generally requires three subsequent steps: a virus extraction step, RNA purification, and molecular detection of the purified RNA, occasionally followed by molecular genotyping. The current review mainly focused on the molecular detection and genotyping of NoVs. The most conserved region in the genome of human infective NoVs is the ORF1/ORF2 junction and has been used as a preferred target region for molecular detection of NoVs by methods such as (real-time) RT-PCR, NASBA, and LAMP. In case of animal NoVs, broad range molecular assays have most frequently been applied for molecular detection. Regarding genotyping of NoVs, five regions situated in the polymerase and capsid genes have been used for conventional RT-PCR amplification and sequencing. As the expected levels of NoVs on food and in water are very low and inhibition of molecular methods can occur in these matrices, quality control including adequate positive and negative controls is an essential part of NoV detection. Although the development of molecular methods for NoV detection has certainly aided in the understanding of NoV transmission, it has also led to new problems such as the question whether low levels of human NoV detected on fresh produce and shellfish could pose a threat to public health.Food and Environmental Virology 12/2012; 4(4):153-67. · 2.51 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Norovirus is one of the major causes of non-bacterial gastroenteritis in humans. The aim of this study was to analyze the amino acid variation of open reading frame 2 of GII.4 variants in South Korea during the period from November 2006 to December 2012. Sixty-nine complete nucleotide sequences of open reading frame 2 were obtained from 113 GII.4 strains. The GII.4 2006b variants were detected predominantly between 2006 and 2009; however, new GII.4 variants, which were termed the 2010 variant and the 2012 variant, emerged in 2010 and 2012, respectively. The number of GII.4 2006b variants steadily decreased until 2012, whereas the number of gastroenteritis cases caused by the new variants increased between 2010 and 2012. The amino acid sequence in the ORF2 region obtained in this study was compared with other GII.4 variants isolated in various countries. Amino acid variations were observed primarily at epitope sites and the surrounding regions. Amino acids 294, 359, 393, and 413 of the P2 subdomain were the most variable sites among the GII.4 variants. The information in this study can be useful in basic research to predict the emergence and determine the genetic functions of new GII.4 variants.The Journal of Microbiology 04/2014; · 1.28 Impact Factor