Genetic Analysis of Human Norovirus Strains in Japan in 2016-2017.
ABSTRACT: In the 2016/2017 winter season in Japan, HuNoV GII.P16-GII.2 strains (2016 strains) emerged and caused large outbreaks of acute gastroenteritis. To better understand the outbreaks, we examined the molecular evolution of the VP1 gene and RdRp region in 2016 strains from patients by studying their time-scale evolutionary phylogeny, positive/negative selection, conformational epitopes, and phylodynamics. The time-scale phylogeny suggested that the common ancestors of the 2016 strains VP1 gene and RdRp region diverged in 2006 and 1999, respectively, and that the 2016 strain was the progeny of a pre-2016 GII.2. The evolutionary rates of the VP1 gene and RdRp region were around 10-3 substitutions/site/year. Amino acid substitutions (position 341) in an epitope in the P2 domain of 2016 strains were not found in pre-2016 GII.2 strains. Bayesian skyline plot analyses showed that the effective population size of the VP1 gene in GII.2 strains was almost constant for those 50 years, although the number of patients with NoV GII.2 increased in 2016. The 2016 strain may be involved in future outbreaks in Japan and elsewhere.
Project description:A total of 64 acute gastroenteritis outbreaks with 2,953 patients starting in December of 2016 and occurring mostly in the late spring of 2017 were reported in Jiangsu, China. A recombinant GII.P16-GII.2 norovirus variant was associated with 47 outbreaks (73.4%) for the gastroenteritis epidemic, predominantly occurring in February and March of 2017. Sequence analysis of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) and capsid protein of the viral isolates from these outbreaks confirmed that this GII.P16-GII.2 strain was the GII.P16-GII.2 variant with the intergenotypic recombination, identified in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and other cities in China in 2016. This GII.P16-GII.2 recombinant variant appeared to a re-emerging strain, firstly identified in 2011-2012 from Japan and USA but might be independently originated from other GII.P16-GII.2 variants for sporadic and outbreaks of gastroenteritis in Japan and China before 2016. Further identification of unique amino acid mutations in both VP1 and RdRp of NoV strain as shown in this report may provide insight in explaining its structural and antigenic changes, potentially critical for the variant recombinant to gain its predominance in causing regional and worldwide epidemics.
Project description:A total of 1 590 fecal swabs and stool samples from sporadic acute gastroenteritis patients of all ages were collected from January 2013 to March 2018 in the Zhoushan Islands, China, with 99 (6.23%) samples subsequently identified as human norovirus (HuNoV) positive. Phylogenetic analysis of partial RdRp and VP1 gene regions identified 10 genotypes of the GII genogroup and 3 genotypes of the GI genogroup. The predominant genotype was GII.P17-GII.17 (42.86%, 33/77), followed by GII.Pe-GII.4_Sydney 2012 (24.68%, 19/77) and GII.P16-GII.2 (12.96%, 10/77). However, the prevailing genotype in the Zhoushan Islands has shifted on three separate occasions. The GII.Pe-GII.4_Sydney_2012 strain was dominant in 2013-2014, the GII.P17-17 strain was dominant in 2015-2016, and the GII.P16-GII.2 strain was dominant in 2017. Divergence analysis showed that the re-emerging GII.P16-GII.2 strains clustered with the Japanese 2010-2012 GII.P16-GII.2 strains, and the time of the most recent common ancestor was estimated to have occurred in 2012 to 2013. The evolutionary rates of the RdRp gene region of the GII.P16 genotype and the VP1 gene region of the GII.2 genotype were 2.64 × 10(-3) (95% HPD interval, 2.17-3.08 × 10(-3)) and 3.36 × 10(-3) (95% HPD interval, 2.66-4.04 × 10(-3)) substitutions/site/year, respectively. The migration pattern of the HuNoV GII.2 genotype in China demonstrated that the re-emerging GII.P16-GII.2 strains were first introduced into Hong Kong from Japan, and then spread from Hong Kong to other coastal areas. Our results also showed that the GII.P16-GII.2 strains in the Zhoushan Islands were likely introduced from Jiangsu Province, China, in 2016.
Project description:BACKGROUND:In late 2016, an uncommon recombinant NoV genotype called GII.P16-GII.2 caused a sharp increase in outbreaks of acute gastroenteritis in different countries of Asia and Europe, including China. However, we did not observe a drastic increase in sporadic norovirus cases in the winter of 2016 in Huzhou. Therefore, we investigate the prevalence and genetic diversity of NoVs in the sporadic acute gastroenteritis (AGE) cases from January 2016 to December 2017 in Huzhou City, Zhejiang, China. METHODS:From January 2016 to December 2017, a total of 1001 specimens collected from patients with AGE were screened for NoV by real-time RT-PCR. Partial sequences of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) and capsid gene of the positive samples were amplified by RT-PCR and sequenced. Genotypes of NoV were confirmed by online NoV typing tool and phylogenetic analysis. Complete VP1 sequences of GII.P16-GII.2 strains detected in this study were further obtained and subjected into sequence analysis. RESULTS:In total, 204 (20.4%) specimens were identified as NoV-positive. GII genogroup accounted for most of the NoV-infected cases (98.0%, 200/204). NoV infection was found in all age groups tested (<?5, 5-15, 16-20, 21-30, 31-40, 41-50, 51-60, and >60 years), with the 5-15 year age group having the highest detection rate (17/49, 34.7%). Higher activity of NoV infection could be seen in winter-spring season. The predominant NoV genotypes have changed from GII.Pe-GII.4 Sydney2012 and GII.P17-GII.17 in 2016 to GII.P16-GII.2, GII.Pe-GII.4 Sydney2012 and GII.P17-GII.17 in 2017. Phylogenetic analyses revealed that 2016-2017 GII.P16-GII.2 strains were most closely related to Japan 2010-2012 cluster in VP1 region and no common mutations were found in the amino acids of the HBGA-binding sites and the predicted epitopes. CONCLUSIONS:We report the emergence of GII.P16-GII.2 strains and characterize the molecular epidemiological patterns NoV infection between January 2016 and December 2017 in Huzhou. The predominant genotypes of NoV during our study period are diverse. VP1 amino acid sequences of 2016-2017 GII.P16-GII.2 strains remain static after one year of circulation.
Project description:The RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) and capsid (VP1) genes of 51 GII.2 human norovirus (HuNoV) strains collected during the period of 2004-2015 in Japan were analyzed. Full-length analyses of the genes were performed using next-generation sequencing. Based on the gene sequences, we constructed the time-scale evolutionary trees by Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo methods. Time-scale phylogenies showed that the RdRp and VP1 genes evolved uniquely and independently. Four genotypes of GII.2 (major types: GII.P2-GII.2 and GII.P16-GII.2) were detected. A common ancestor of the GII.2 VP1 gene existed until about 1956. The evolutionary rates of the genes were high (over 10-3 substitutions/site/year). Moreover, the VP1 gene evolution may depend on the RdRp gene. Based on these results, we hypothesized that transfer of the RdRp gene accelerated the VP1 gene evolution of HuNoV genotype GII.2. Consequently, recombination between ORF1 (polymerase) and ORF2 (capsid) might promote changes of GII.2 antigenicity.
Project description:Noroviruses (NoVs) are enteric viruses that cause acute gastroenteritis, and the pandemic GII.4 genotype is spreading and evolving rapidly. The recombinant GII.P16/GII.4_Sydney strain emerged in 2016, replacing GII.P31/GII.4_Sydney (GII.P31 formerly known as GII.Pe) in some countries. We analyzed the complete genome of 20 NoV strains (17 GII.P31/GII.4_ Sydney and 3 GII.P16/GII.4_Sydney) from Belém and Manaus, Brazil, collected from 2012 to 2016. Phylogenetic trees were constructed by maximum likelihood method from 191 full NoV-VP1 sequences, demonstrated segregation of the Sydney lineage in two larger clades, suggesting that GII.4 strains associated with GII.P16 already have modifications compared with GII.P31/GII.4. Additionally, the Bayesian Markov Chain Monte Carlo method was used to reconstruct a time-scaled phylogenetic tree formed by GII.P16 ORF1 sequences (n = 117) and three complete GII.P16 sequences from Belém. The phylogenetic tree indicated the presence of six clades classified into different capsid genotypes and locations. Evolutionary rates of the ORF1 gene of GII.P16 strains was estimated at 2.01 × 10-3 substitutions/site/year, and the most recent common ancestors were estimated in 2011 (2011-2012, 95% HPD). Comparing the amino acid (AA) sequence coding for ORF1 with the prototype strain GII.P16/GII.4, 36 AA changes were observed, mainly in the non-structural proteins p48, p22, and RdRp. GII.P16/GII.4 strains of this study presented changes in amino acids 310, 333, 373, and 393 of the antigenic sites in the P2 subdomain, and ML tree indicating the division within the Sydney lineage according to the GII.P16 and GII.P31 polymerases. Notably, as noroviruses have high recombination rates and the GII.4 genotype was prevalent for a long time in several locations, additional and continuous evolutionary analyses of this new genotype should be needed in the future.
Project description:Human norovirus (HuNoV) GII.P17-GII.17 (Kawasaki2014 variant) reportedly emerged in 2014 and caused gastroenteritis outbreaks worldwide. To clarify the evolution of both VP1 and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) regions of GII.P17-GII.17, we analyzed both global and novel Japanese strains detected during 2013-2017. Time-scaled phylogenetic trees revealed that the ancestral GII.17 VP1 region diverged around 1949, while the ancestral GII.P17 RdRp region diverged around 2010. The evolutionary rates of the VP1 and RdRp regions were estimated at ~2.7 × 10-3 and ~2.3 × 10-3 substitutions/site/year, respectively. The phylogenetic distances of the VP1 region exhibited no overlaps between intra-cluster and inter-cluster peaks in the GII.17 strains, whereas those of the RdRp region exhibited a unimodal distribution in the GII.P17 strains. Conformational epitope positions in the VP1 protein of the GII.P17-GII.17 strains were similar, although some substitutions, insertions and deletions had occurred. Strains belonging to the same cluster also harbored substitutions around the binding sites for the histo-blood group antigens of the VP1 protein. Moreover, some amino acid substitutions were estimated to be near the interface between monomers and the active site of the RdRp protein. These results suggest that the GII.P17-GII.17 virus has produced variants with the potential to alter viral antigenicity, host-binding capability, and replication property over the past 10 years.
Project description:During the 2016-17 winter season in Japan, human norovirus GII.P16-GII.2 strains (2016 strains) caused large outbreaks of acute gastroenteritis. Phylogenetic analyses suggested that the 2016 strains derived from the GII.2 strains detected during 2010-12. Immunochromatography between 2016 strains and the pre-2016 GII.2 strains showed similar reactivity.
Project description:Noroviruses evolve by antigenic drift and recombination, which occurs most frequently at the junction between the non-structural and structural protein coding genomic regions. In 2015, a novel GII.P16-GII.4 Sydney recombinant strain emerged, replacing the predominance of GII.Pe-GII.4 Sydney among US outbreaks. Distinct from GII.P16 polymerases detected since 2010, this novel GII.P16 was subsequently detected among GII.1, GII.2, GII.3, GII.10 and GII.12 viruses, prompting an investigation on the unique characteristics of these viruses. Norovirus positive samples (n = 1807) were dual-typed, of which a subset (n = 124) was sequenced to yield near-complete genomes. CaliciNet and National Outbreak Reporting System (NORS) records were matched to link outbreak characteristics and case outcomes to molecular data and GenBank was mined for contextualization. Recombination with the novel GII.P16 polymerase extended GII.4 Sydney predominance and increased the number of GII.2 outbreaks in the US. Introduction of the novel GII.P16 noroviruses occurred without unique amino acid changes in VP1, more severe case outcomes, or differences in affected population. However, unique changes were found among NS1/2, NS4 and VP2 proteins, which have immune antagonistic functions, and the RdRp. Multiple polymerase-capsid combinations were detected among GII viruses including 11 involving GII.P16. Molecular surveillance of protein sequences from norovirus genomes can inform the functional importance of amino acid changes in emerging recombinant viruses and aid in vaccine and antiviral formulation.
Project description:Norovirus is the leading cause of acute gastroenteritis worldwide. For over two decades, a single genotype (GII.4) has been responsible for most norovirus-associated cases. However, during the winter of 2014 to 2015, the GII.4 strains were displaced by a rarely detected genotype (GII.17) in several countries of the Asian continent. Moreover, during the winter of 2016 to 2017, the GII.2 strain reemerged as predominant in different countries worldwide. This reemerging GII.2 strain is a recombinant virus that presents a GII.P16 polymerase genotype. In this study, we investigated the evolutionary dynamics of GII.2 to determine the mechanism of this sudden emergence in the human population. The phylogenetic analyses indicated strong linear evolution of the VP1-encoding sequence, albeit with minor changes in the amino acid sequence over time. Without major genetic differences among the strains, a clustering based on the polymerase genotype was observed in the tree. This association did not affect the substitution rate of the VP1. Phylogenetic analyses of the polymerase region showed that reemerging GII.P16-GII.2 strains diverged into a new cluster, with a small number of amino acid substitutions detected on the surface of the associated polymerase. Thus, besides recombination or antigenic shift, point mutations in nonstructural proteins could also lead to novel properties with epidemic potential in different norovirus genotypes. IMPORTANCE Noroviruses are a major cause of gastroenteritis worldwide. Currently, there is no vaccine or specific antiviral available to treat norovirus disease. Multiple norovirus strains infect humans, but a single genotype (GII.4) has been regarded as the most important cause of viral gastroenteritis outbreaks worldwide. Its persistence and predominance have been explained by the continuous replacement of variants that present new antigenic properties on their capsid protein, thus evading the herd immunity acquired to the previous variants. Over the last three seasons, minor genotypes have displaced the GII.4 viruses as the predominant strains. One of these genotypes, GII.2, reemerged as predominant during 2016 to 2017. Here we show that factors such as minor changes in the polymerase may have driven the reemergence of GII.2 during the last season. A better understanding of norovirus diversity is important for the development of effective treatments against noroviruses.
Project description:Noroviruses are the leading cause of viral gastroenteritis in humans across the world. RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) plays a critical role in the replication of the viral genome. Although there have been some reports on a limited number of genotypes with respect to the norovirus evolution of the RdRp region, no comprehensive molecular evolution examination of the norovirus GII genotype has yet been undertaken. Therefore, we conducted an evolutionary analysis of the 25 genotypes of the norovirus GII RdRp region (full-length), collected globally using different bioinformatics technologies. The time-scaled phylogenetic tree, generated using the Bayesian Markov Chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method, indicated that the common ancestor of GII diverged from GIV around 1443 CE [95% highest posterior density (HPD), 1336-1542]. The GII RdRp region emerged around 1731 CE (95% HPD, 1703-1757), forming three lineages. The evolutionary rate of the RdRp region of the norovirus GII strains was estimated at over 10-3 substitutions/site/year. The evolutionary rates were significantly distinct in each genotype. The composition of the phylogenetic distances differed among the strains for each genotype. Furthermore, we mapped the negative selection sites on the RdRp protein and many of these were predicted in the GII.P4 RdRp proteins. The phylodynamics of GII.P4, GII.P12, GII.P16, and GII.Pe showed that their effective population sizes increased during the period from 2003 to 2014. Our results cumulatively suggest that the RdRp region of the norovirus GII rapidly and uniquely evolved with a high divergence similar to that of the norovirus VP1 gene.