Rotavirus Sequencing

Rotavirus Sequencing

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As the leading worldwide cause of severe pediatric diarrhea, rotavirus, a double-stranded, segmented RNA virus, annually causes about 600,000 deaths globally, as well as about 50,000 hospitalizations and 20-40 deaths in the US. Millions of rotavirus-caused outpatient visits contribute to an economic impact of an estimated $1 billion annually. Therefore effective rotavirus vaccination is high on the list of national and international health priorities. There is evidence that the rotavirus population is in constant flux with new G-types emerging from time to time.

The scarcity of complete genomic data in NCBI prevents a comprehensive study of rotavirus molecular evolution, and consequently little is known about spatial and temporal patterns of circulation, genesis of new serotypes (such as G9), extent of segment reassortment and genetic drift, and possible favorable genome constellations. The rotavirus genome sequencing project aims to begin filling the void of sequencing data by sequencing a subset of viruses isolated from 769 rotavirus-positive children in the classic Children’s Hospital cohort study, hospitalized with severe diarrhea during 1974 to 1991. The NIAID/JCVI Rotavirus Genomics Project seeks to provide valuable insights into rotavirus molecular epidemiology and evolution.