Absence of genetic differences among G10P rotaviruses associated with asymptomatic and symptomatic neonatal infections in Vellore, India
Libonati MH, Dennis AF, Ramani S, McDonald SM, Akopov A, Kirkness EF, Kang G, Patton JT
Rotaviruses (RVs) are leading causes of severe diarrhea and vomiting in infants and young children. RVs with G10P genotype specificity have been associated with symptomatic and asymptomatic neonatal infections in Vellore, India. To identify possible viral genetic determinants responsible for differences in symptomology, the genome sequences of G10P RVs in stool samples of 19 neonates with symptomatic infections and 20 neonates with asymptomatic infections were determined by Sanger and next-generation sequencing. The data showed that all 39 viruses had identical genotype constellations (G10-P-I2-R2-C2-M2-A1-N1-T1-E2-H3), the same as those of the previously characterized symptomatic N155 Vellore isolate. The data also showed that the RNA and deduced protein sequences of all the Vellore G10P viruses were nearly identical; no nucleotide or amino acid differences were found that correlated with symptomatic versus asymptomatic infection. Next-generation sequencing data revealed that some stool samples, both from neonates with symptomatic infections and from neonates with asymptomatic infections, also contained one or more positive-strand RNA viruses (Aichi virus, astrovirus, or salivirus/klassevirus) suspected of being potential causes of pediatric gastroenteritis. However, none of the positive-strand RNA viruses could be causally associated with the development of symptoms. These results indicate that the diversity of clinical symptoms in Vellore neonates does not result from genetic differences among G10P RVs; instead, other undefined factors appear to influence whether neonates develop gastrointestinal disease symptoms.