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Detection of Rotavirus Strains in Freshwater Clams in Japan
, Kazi Selim Anwar,

Bivalve molluscan shellfish like clams and oysters, etc., are capable to bioaccumulate surrounding contaminants from waters into their digestive systems and posing serious threats of food poisoning. Detection of rotaviruses (RVs) in shellfish is of particular importance because RVs are prone to genome reassortment resulting in the emergence of new RV variants that may compromise vaccine safety. Herein, we have detected the wild-type RVs and Rotarix/RotaTeq vaccine strains in freshwater clams collected on the riverside, Kawasaki city, from July 2019 to January 2020 and correlated the detected genotypes with that of gastroenteritis cases of nearby clinics to understand the transmission of RVs in the environment. The wild-type RVs were detected in 62 (64.6%) out of 96 freshwater clams in every study month: July, September, November, and January that are considered as off-season for RV infections. The most frequent genotypes were G2 (42.9%), G8 (28.6%), G3 (14.3%), G1 (7.1%), and G10 (7.1%), which remained comparable with genotypic distribution found in the clinical samples over the last few years indicating that these RVs may accumulate in clams since a long time. However, G10 genotype was detected in clam but not in clinical samples suggesting the presence of asymptomatic infection or RVs could be carried out from a long distance. Importantly, vaccine strains, RotaTeq (1%) but not Rotarix (0%), were also detected in a clam. Attention must be paid to monitoring the potential transmission of wild-type and vaccine RV strains in the environment to prevent the emergence of new variants generated from genome reassortment with vaccine strains.

Clams; Clinical samples; Environmental samples; Rotavirus; Vaccine strains.
Journal or Conference Name
Food and Environmental Virology
Publication Year