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Severe diarrhea outbreak in beef calves (Bos indicus) caused by G6P[11], an emergent genotype of bovine rotavirus group A

Surto de diarreia neonatal em bezerros de corte (Bos indicus) ocasionado por um genotipo emergente G6P[11] de rotavírus bovino grupo A

The episodes of diarrhea caused by neonatal bovine rotavirus group A (BoRVA) constitute one of the major health problems in the calf rearing worldwide. The main G (VP7) and P (VP4) genotypes of BoRVA strains involved in the etiology of diarrhea in calves are G6P[1], G10P[11], G6P[5], and G8P[1]. However, less frequently, other G and P genotypes have been described in BoRVA strains identified in diarrheic fecal samples of calves. This study describes the identification and molecular characterization of an emerging genotype (G6P[11]) in BoRVA strains involved in the etiology of a diarrhea outbreak in beef calves in a cattle herd of high production in extensive management system. The diarrhea outbreak, which showed high morbidity (60%) and lethality (7%) rates, occurred in calves (n= 384) Nelore (Bos indicus) up to 30-day-old from the State of Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil. BoRVA was identified in 80% (16/20) of the fecal samples analyzed by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) technique. In all PAGE-positive fecal samples were amplified products with 1,062-bp and 876-bp in the RT-PCR assays for VP7 (G type) and VP4 (VP8*) (P type) of BoRVA, respectively. The nucleotide sequence analysis of VP7 and VP4 genes of four wild-type BoRVA strains showed G6-III P[11]-III genotype/lineage. The G6P[11] genotype has been described in RVA strains of human and animal hosts, however, in calves this genotype was only identified in some cross-sectional studies and not as a single cause of diarrhea outbreaks in calves with high morbidity and lethality rates as described in this study. The monitoring of the G and P genotypes of BoRVA strains involved in diarrhea outbreaks in calves is important for both animal and public health by allowing the identification of the most frequent genotypes, the characterization of novel genotypes and to identify reassortments with genotypes described in animal and human hosts. The results of this study show the importance of the monitoring of the genotypes of BoRVA strains involved in episodes of bovine neonatal diarrhea as for characterization of frequency of occurrence and pathogenic potential of uncommon genotypes as for monitoring of the emergency of different BoRVA genotypes not included in commercial vaccines.

Calf; enteric infection; rotaviruses; VP7 gene; VP4 gene

Colégio Brasileiro de Patologia Animal - CBPA Pesquisa Veterinária Brasileira, Caixa Postal 74.591, 23890-000 Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brasil, Tel./Fax: (55 21) 2682-1081 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil