Genomics of Rotavirus

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, 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 various locations around the world. The Rotavirus Genome Sequencing project seeks to provide valuable insights into rotavirus molecular epidemiology and evolution.


PeerJ. 2017-01-03; 5.e2733.
Comparative analysis of the Rotarix™ vaccine strain and G1P[8] rotaviruses detected before and after vaccine introduction in Belgium
Zeller M, Heylen E, Tamim S, McAllen JK, Kirkness EF, Akopov A, De Coster S, Van Ranst M, Matthijnssens J
PMID: 28070453
Journal of virology. 2016-01-01; 90.1: 142-51.
Comparative In Vitro and In Vivo Studies of Porcine Rotavirus G9P[13] and Human Rotavirus Wa G1P[8]
Shao L, Fischer DD, Kandasamy S, Rauf A, Langel SN, Wentworth DE, Stucker KM, Halpin RA, Lam HC, Marthaler D, Saif LJ, Vlasova AN
PMID: 26468523
Genome biology and evolution. 2015-08-08; 7.9: 2473-83.
Genome-Wide Evolutionary Analyses of G1P[8] Strains Isolated Before and After Rotavirus Vaccine Introduction
Zeller M, Donato C, Trovão NS, Cowley D, Heylen E, Donker NC, McAllen JK, Akopov A, Kirkness EF, Lemey P, Van Ranst M, Matthijnssens J, Kirkwood CD
PMID: 26254487
Infection, genetics and evolution : journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases. 2015-04-01; 31.321-34.
Whole genome detection of rotavirus mixed infections in human, porcine and bovine samples co-infected with various rotavirus strains collected from sub-Saharan Africa
Nyaga MM, Jere KC, Esona MD, Seheri ML, Stucker KM, Halpin RA, Akopov A, Stockwell TB, Peenze I, Diop A, Ndiaye K, Boula A, Maphalala G, Berejena C, Mwenda JM, Steele AD, Wentworth DE, Mphahlele MJ
PMID: 25701122
Genome announcements. 2015-03-12; 3.2:
Complete genomic sequence for an avian group G rotavirus from South Africa
Stucker KM, Stockwell TB, Nyaga MM, Halpin RA, Fedorova N, Akopov A, Ngoveni H, Peenze I, Seheri ML, Mphahlele MJ, Wentworth DE
PMID: 25767240
Infection, genetics and evolution : journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases. 2014-12-01; 28.513-23.
Comparative genomic analysis of genogroup 1 (Wa-like) rotaviruses circulating in the USA, 2006-2009
Dugaw K, Roy S, Esona MD, Bloom G, Yam PA, Kirkness EF, Jameson S, Akopov A, McKee B, McAllen JK, Wikswo ME, Riley AM, Thompson K, Cortese MM, Wright C, Payne DC, Parashar UD, Drew W, Gentsch JR, Dunn J, Hoover VE, Bowen MD, Szilagyi PG, National Rotavirus Strain Surveillance System, New Vaccine Surveillance Network, Weinberg GA, Staat MA, Edwards KM, Chappell J
PMID: 25301114
Infection, genetics and evolution : journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases. 2014-10-01; 27.156-62.
Whole-genome analyses reveals the animal origin of a rotavirus G4P[6] detected in a child with severe diarrhea
Martinez M, Galeano ME, Akopov A, Palacios R, Russomando G, Kirkness EF, Parra GI
PMID: 25075468
Journal of virology. 2014-09-01; 88.17: 9842-63.
Analysis of human rotaviruses from a single location over an 18-year time span suggests that protein coadaption influences gene constellations
Zhang S, McDonald PW, Thompson TA, Dennis AF, Akopov A, Kirkness EF, Patton JT, McDonald SM
PMID: 24942570
Journal of virology. 2014-08-01; 88.16: 9060-71.
Absence of genetic differences among G10P[11] 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
PMID: 24899175
Emerging microbes & infections. 2014-07-01; 3.7: e47.
Characterization of a G1P[8] rotavirus causing an outbreak of gastroenteritis in the Northern Territory, Australia, in the vaccine era
Donato CM, Cowley D, Snelling TL, Akopov A, Kirkness EF, Kirkwood CD
PMID: 26038746


This project has been funded in whole or part with federal funds from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services under Award Numbers N01-AI30071 and U19AI110819.

Principal Investigator

Key Staff

  • Carmelli Cadiz


Kathy Edwards, PhD
Vanderbilt University

John Gentsch, PhD

Yasutaka Hoshino, D.V.M.
Sarah McDonald, PhD
John T. Patton, Ph.D.
NIAID/Laboratory of Infectious Diseases

Karl Kirkwood, PhD
Royal’s Childrens Hospital, Australia

Jelle Matthijnssens, PhD
Mark Van Ranst, PhD
University of Leuven, Belgium

Sidhartha Giri
Christian Medical College, Vellore

South African Medical Research Council, University of the Free State

Walter Reed/ AFRIMS Research Unit

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