The Pan-American Health Organization established a rotavirus pre-vaccination disease burden and strain surveillance network in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2004. During strain surveillance in Ecuador in 2005-2006, a rare rotavirus genotype, G11P, was detected among common strains. Sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of this strain identified a novel lineage of the G11 VP7 gene, most closely related to A253 (91.8% nt identity), a porcine rotavirus strain identified in Venezuela. Most genes of this strain clustered with porcine, human-porcine or bovine-porcine reassortant strains; only VP6 and perhaps NSP2 genes were more closely related to cognate genes of human rotaviruses. Thus, this strain was likely generated by gene reassortment between porcine and human parental strains. Our study provides further evidence that animal rotaviruses play an important role in genetic and antigenic diversity of rotaviruses pathogenic for humans.
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