Complete molecular genome analyses of equine rotavirus A strains from different continents reveal several novel genotypes and a largely conserved genotype constellation.
A cDNA clone representing the VP4-encoding gene of human rotavirus strain 69M(VP7 serotype 8) was constructed and inserted into a baculovirus expression vector. Baculovirus recombinants that expressed the 69 M VP4 protein inSpodoptera frugiperda (Sf9) cells were screened by immunofluorescence with hyperimmune antiserum to the 69M strain and purified by terminal dilution. The expressed VP4 was detected by Coomassie blue staining of PAGE-separated proteins. The antigenic relationships between the VP4 of the 69M strain and those of various human and other animal rotavirus strains representing ten established VP4 serotypes were examined by plaque reduction neutralization. Hyperimmune antiserum produced in guinea pigs following immunization with a lysate of Sf9 cells infected with a 69M gene 4-baculovirus recombinant neutralized the infectivity of the homologous human rotavirus 69M strain as well as heterologous equine rotavirus H-2 strain to a high titer. The anti-69M VP4 hyperimmune antiserum did not neutralize significantly other rotavirus strains of human, simian, porcine, bovine, or murine origin. It thus appears that the human rotavirus 69M strain has a distinct VP4 serotype (designated as P serotype 4) which is closely related antigenically to equine rotavirus H-2 VP4.