Evolution of rotavirus C in humans and several domestic animal species

Nídia S. Trovão, Frances K. Shepherd, Katerina Herzberg, Matthew C. Jarvis, Ham C. Lam, Albert Rovira, Marie R. Culhane, Martha I. Nelson, Douglas G. Marthaler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Rotavirus C (RVC) causes enteric disease in multiple species, including humans, swine, bovines, and canines. To date, the evolutionary relationships of RVC populations circulating in different host species are poorly understood, owing to the low availability of genetic sequence data. To address this gap, we sequenced 45 RVC complete genomes from swine samples collected in the United States and Mexico. A phylogenetic analysis of each genome segment indicates that RVC populations have been evolving independently in human, swine, canine, and bovine hosts for at least the last century, with inter-species transmission events occurring deep in the phylogenetic tree, and none in the last 100 years. Bovine and canine RVC populations clustered together nine of the 11 gene segments, indicating a shared common ancestor centuries ago. The evolutionary relationships of RVC in humans and swine were more complex, due to the extensive genetic diversity and multiple RVC clades identified in pigs, which were not structured geographically. Topological differences between trees inferred for different genome segments occurred frequently, including at nodes deep in the tree, indicating that RVC's evolutionary history includes multiple reassortment events that occurred a long time ago. Overall, we find that RVC is evolving within host-defined lineages, but the evolutionary history of RVC is more complex than previously recognized due to the high genetic diversity of RVC in swine, with a common ancestor dating back centuries. Pigs may act as a reservoir host for RVC, and a source of the lineages identified in other species, including humans, but additional sequencing is needed to understand the full diversity of this understudied pathogen across multiple host species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)546-557
Number of pages12
JournalZoonoses and Public Health
Issue number5
StatePublished - Aug 2019


  • phylodynamics
  • rotavirus C
  • surveillance
  • whole-genome sequences

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Evolution of rotavirus C in humans and several domestic animal species'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Trovão, N. S., Shepherd, F. K., Herzberg, K., Jarvis, M. C., Lam, H. C., Rovira, A., Culhane, M. R., Nelson, M. I., & Marthaler, D. G. (2019). Evolution of rotavirus C in humans and several domestic animal species. Zoonoses and Public Health, 66(5), 546-557. https://doi.org/10.1111/zph.12575