Emergence of rare sapovirus genotype among infants and children with acute gastroenteritis in Japan

  • T. G. Phan
  • Q. D. Trinh
  • F. Yagyu
  • S. Okitsu
  • H. Ushijima


A total of 1,154 fecal specimens from infants and children with acute gastroenteritis in five cities in Japan (Maizuru, Tokyo, Sapporo, Saga, and Osaka), collected from July 2003 to June 2005, were tested for the presence of diarrheal viruses by reverse transcriptase multiplex PCR. Overall, 469 of 1,154 (40.6%) were positive for diarrheal viruses, of which 49 (10.4%) were positive for sapovirus. The peak of sapovirus infection shifted from April–June in 2003–2004 to October–December in 2004–2005. The observations show that maximum sapovirus prevalence can occur during warmer seasons. Sapovirus was subjected to molecular genetic analysis by sequencing. The results indicated that sapovirus genogroup I was a dominant group (100%). Sapovirus strains detected in this study were further classified into four genotypes (GI/1, GI/4, GI/6, and GI/8). Of these, sapovirus GI/1 was the most predominant, followed by sapovirus GI/6; these accounted for 93% (13 of 14) and 7% (1 of 14), respectively, in 2003–2004. However, it was noteworthy that sapovirus GI/6 suddenly emerged to become the leading genotype, accounting for 77% (27 of 35) of isolates in 2004–2005. This is believed to be the first report of the changing distribution of sapovirus genotypes and of the emergence of the rare sapovirus GI/6.


  1. 1.
    Parashar UD, Bresee JS, Glass RI (2003) The global burden of diarrhoeal disease in children. Bull World Health Organ 81:236–240PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Parashar UD, Hummelman EG, Bresee JS, Miller MA, Glass RI (2003) Global illness and deaths caused by rotavirus disease in children. Emerg Infect Dis 9:565–572PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Murray CJ, Lopez AD (1997) Mortality by cause for eight regions of the world: global burden of disease study. Lancet 349:1269–1276PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bon F, Fascia P, Dauvergne M, Tenenbaum D, Planson H, Petion AM, Pothier P, Kohli E (1999) Prevalence of group A rotavirus, human calicivirus, astrovirus, and adenovirus type 40 and 41 infections among children with acute gastroenteritis in Dijon, France. J Clin Microbiol 37:3055–3058PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Lopman BA, Brown DW, Koopmans M (2002) Human caliciviruses in Europe. J Clin Virol 24:137–160PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Chiba S, Nakata S, Numata-Kinoshita K, Honma S (2000) Sapporo virus: history and recent findings. J Infect Dis 181:303–308CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Phan TG, Okame M, Nguyen TA, Nishio O, Okitsu S, Ushijima H (2005) Genetic diversity of sapovirus in fecal specimens from infants and children with acute gastroenteritis in Pakistan. Arch Virol 150:371–377PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Green KYCR, Kapikian AZ (2001) Human caliciviruses. In: Knipe DM, Howley PM, Griffin D, Lamb R, Martin M, Straus S (eds) Fields virology. Lippincott & Wilkins, Philadelphia, pp 841–874Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Chiba S, Sakuma Y, Kogasaka R, Akihara M, Horino K, Nakao T, Fukui S (1979) An outbreak of gastroenteritis associated with calicivirus in an infant home. J Med Virol 4:249–254PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Farkas T, Zhong WM, Jing Y, Huang PW, Espinosa SM, Martinez N, Morrow AL, Ruiz-Palacios GM, Pickering LK, Jiang X (2004) Genetic diversity among sapoviruses. Arch Virol 149:1309–1323PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Schuffenecker I, Ando T, Thouvenot D, Lina B, Aymard M (2001) Genetic classification of “Sapporo-like viruses”. Arch Virol 146:2115–2132PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Okada M, Shinozaki K, Ogawa T, Kaiho I (2002) Molecular epidemiology and phylogenetic analysis of Sapporo-like viruses. Arch Virol 147:1445–1451PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Akihara S, Phan TG, Nguyen TA, Yagyu F, Okitsu S, Muller WE, Ushijima H (2005) Identification of sapovirus infection among Japanese infants in a day care center. J Med Virol 77:595–601PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Matsui SM, Greenberg HB (2000) Immunity to calicivirus infection. J Infect Dis 181:331–335CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Nakata S, Chiba S, Terashima H, Nakao T (1985) Prevalence of antibody to human calicivirus in Japan and Southeast Asia determined by radioimmunoassay. J Clin Microbiol 22:519–521PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Sakuma Y, Chiba S, Kogasaka R, Terashima H, Nakamura S, Horino K, Nakao T (1981) Prevalence of antibody to human calicivirus in general population of northern Japan. J Med Virol 7:221–225PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Phan TG, Nguyen TA, Yan H, Yagyu F, Kozlov V, Kozlov A, Okitsu S, Muller WE, Ushiijma H (2005) Development of a novel protocol for RT-multiplex PCR to detect diarrheal viruses among infants and children with acute gastroenteritis in eastern Russia. Clin Lab 51:429–435PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Das BK, Jon RG, Helen GC, Patricia AW, Aarti G, Madhumati R, Ramesh K, Bhan MK (1994) Characterization of rotavirus strains from newborns in New Delhi, India. J Clin Microbiol 23:1820–1822Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Phan TG, Okame M, Nguyen TA, Maneekarn N, Nishio O, Okitsu S, Ushijima H (2004) Human astrovirus, norovirus (GI, GII), and sapovirus infections in Pakistani children with diarrhea. J Med Virol 73:256–261PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Phan TG, Tuan AN, Nishimura S, Nishimuara T, Yamamoto A, Okitsu S, Ushijima H (2005) Etiologic agents of acute gastroenteritis among Japanese infants and children: virus diversity and genetic analysis of sapovirus. Arch Virol 150:1415–1424PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Dove W, Cunliffe NA, Gondwe JS, Broadhead RL, Molyneux ME, Nakagomi O, Hart CA (2005) Detection and characterization of human caliciviruses in hospitalized children with acute gastroenteritis in Blantyre, Malawi. J Med Virol 77:522–527PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Phan TG, Nguyen TA, Kuroiwa T, Kaneshi K, Ueda Y, Nakaya S, Nishimura S, Nishimura T, Yamamoto A, Okitsu S, Ushijima H (2005) Viral diarrhea in Japanese children: results from a one-year epidemiologic study. Clin Lab 51:183–191PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. G. Phan
    • 1
  • Q. D. Trinh
    • 1
  • F. Yagyu
    • 1
  • S. Okitsu
    • 1
  • H. Ushijima
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Developmental Medical Sciences, Institute of International Health, Graduate School of MedicineUniversity of TokyoTokyoJapan

Personalised recommendations