Molecular characterization of a new intergenotype Norovirus GII recombinant
AuthorRuether, I. G. A.; Tsakogiannis, D.; Pliaka, V.; Kyriakopoulou, Z.; Krikelis, A.; Gartzonika, C.; Leveidiotou-Stefanou, S.; Markoulatos, P.
Human noroviruses (NoVs) of the Caliciviridae family are a major cause of epidemic gastroenteritis. The NoV genus is genetically diverse and recombination of viral RNA is known to depend upon various immunological and intracellular constraints that may allow the emergence of viable recombinants. In the present study, we report the development of a broadly reactive RT-PCR assay, which allowed the characterization of strain A6 at molecular level, established its genetic relationship at the sub-genogroup level and classified A6 strain at the sub-genotype level. The detection was carried out initially by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and the subsequent detection and molecular characterization of NoV strain was achieved by reverse transcription-PCR and sequencing. Based on the sequence analysis, A6 strain was revealed to belong to the GII genogroup of NoVs. Partial ORF1 gene sequencing analysis and complete ORF2 gene sequencing revealed that ORF1 and ORF2 belonged to two distinct genotypes GII/9 and GII/6, respectively, making obvious that A6 strain is a rare intergenotypic recombinant within the genogroup GII between GII.9 and GII.6 genotypes. A6 strain represents the first human NoV from Greece, whose genome has been partially (ORF1&ORF3) and completed (ORF2) sequenced. To our knowledge the recombination event GII.9/GII.6 in RdRp and capsid gene, respectively, that was revealed in the present study is reported for the first time.