Sapoviruses cause acute gastroenteritis in humans and animals. They belong to the genus Sapovirus within the family Caliciviridae. They infect and cause disease in humans of all ages, in both sporadic cases and outbreaks. The clinical symptoms of sapovirus gastroenteritis are indistinguishable from those caused by noroviruses, so laboratory diagnosis is essential to identify the pathogen. Sapoviruses are highly diverse genetically and antigenically. Currently, reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) assays are widely used for sapovirus detection from clinical specimens due to their high sensitivity and broad reactivity as well as the lack of sensitive assays for antigen detection or cell culture systems for the detection of infectious viruses. Sapoviruses were first discovered in 1976 by electron microscopy in diarrheic samples of humans. To date, sapoviruses have also been detected from several animals: pigs, mink, dogs, sea lions, and bats. In this review, we focus on genomic and antigenic features, molecular typing/classification, detection methods, and clinical and epidemiological profiles of human sapoviruses.
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