Following Kobayashi and colleagues’ seminal paper in 2017, in the past four years the rotavirus (RV) field has witnessed a burst in research and publications based on the use of a fully plasmid-based RV reverse genetics systems and subsequent modifications. However, in most cases, the rotaviral strain under interrogation has been the prototypic simian RV SA11-L2 strain (G3P [2]). Of note, a variety of other weakly-to-modestly replication-competent animal and human RV strains, bioluminescent and fluorescent reporter viruses, and clinical isolates of human RVs have proved hard or impossible to rescue using the original reverse genetics system, highlighting a critical need to further enhance the recovery efficiency and expand the rescue tool kit. A number of further modifications of the initial reverse genetics system have enabled the rescue of other RV strains such as the human RV KU and CDC-9 strains, and a murine RV D6/2-like strain. Here, we discuss future possible modifications of existing RV reverse genetics systems to further increase efficiency based on past experience with the improvement of influenza A virus recovery. The development of RV to accommodate the insertion and expression of heterologous sequences have substantial potential in the design of next-generation RV vaccine candidates and enteric viral vectors.
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