Rotavirus strains with the uncommon genotype G10 have been detected sporadically in cases of acute gastroenteritis in humans and are thought to be transmitted zoonotically. During 2009, 10 G10P[8] rotavirus strains were detected in the stools of children hospitalized with acute diarrhoea in several paediatric hospitals in Italy. The phylogenetic analysis of the VP7 gene of the Italian G10P[8] strains analysed revealed nucleotide identities ranging from 94 to 99 %. Molecular characterization of the 11 genomic segments was performed for one of the G10 strains, which displayed a complete genomic constellation 1 for the non-G genes. The analysis of the deduced amino acid sequences of the G10 VP7 epitopes revealed low amino acid identity with common human strains of different G genotype and with the VP7 proteins included in both anti-rotavirus commercial vaccines (Rotarix and RotaTeq). Amongst the common G genotypes, the VP7 amino acid sequence of the G10 strains showed a high similarity with sequences from G9 strains. A hydrophobic cluster analysis (HCA) of the VP7 protein including aa 20–298 was performed for the G10 Italian sequences in comparison with the major human group A rotavirus G genotypes. The HCA analysis confirmed the findings obtained previously by amino acid analysis of the VP7 epitopes, detecting a genotype-specific pattern of hydrophobicity in the hypervariable regions of the major outer capsid protein.


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