Full genomic analysis and possible origin of a porcine G12 rotavirus strain RU172
Human group A rotavirus (GAR) G12 strains are regarded as potentially important pathogens for acute gastroenteritis. On the other hand, to date, the only report of detection of G12 in animals was that of a porcine G12P strain RU172. Strain RU172 formed a separate G12 lineage, distinct from human G12 strains, and by analyses of deduced amino acid sequences, had a VP4, VP6, NSP4-5 of porcine origin. In the present study, we determined the full-length nucleotide sequences of VP1, VP3, and NSP1-3 genes and nearly full-length nucleotide sequence of VP2 gene of RU172. By nucleotide sequence identities and phylogenetic analyses, the VP7-VP4-VP6-VP1-VP2-VP3-NSP1-NSP2-NSP3-NSP4-NSP5 genes of RU172 were assigned to G12-P-I5-R1-C1-M1-A1-N1-T1-E1-H1 genotypes, respectively. Within their respective genotypes, (i) VP1 gene of RU172 exhibited higher genetic relatedness to Wa-like human G12 GARs than porcine strains, (ii) VP2-3 and NSP2 genes clustered separately from the Wa-like human (including G12) and porcine clusters, while (iii) the VP6, NSP1 and NSP3-5 genes clustered with porcine and porcine-like human strains. These observations suggested that (i) the porcine G12 strain might have originated from porcine-human reassortment events, or alternatively, (ii) the Wa-like human and porcine G12 strains might have originated from a common ancestor, and eventually evolved (by genetic drift and shift) with time. Our findings provided important insights into the possible patterns of evolution of the porcine G12 strain.