Detection and characterization of human astrovirus and sapovirus in outpatients with acute gastroenteritis in Guangzhou, China

BMC Gastroenterol. 2021 Dec 3;21(1):455. doi: 10.1186/s12876-021-02044-5.


Background: Human astrovirus (HAstV) and sapovirus (SaV) are common pathogens that can cause acute gastroenteritis (AGE). However, very few studies have reported the molecular epidemiology and clinical information on HAstV and SaV in China. This study aims to determine the molecular epidemiology and clinical features of HAstV and SaV in patients with AGE in Guangzhou, China.

Methods: For this study, 656 patients with AGE were enrolled. Their stool samples were screened for 15 enteropathogens using Luminex xTAG® Gastrointestinal Pathogen Panel. HAstV and SaV were detected through an in-house multiplex reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction followed by phylogenetic analysis. We described and compared clinical features of AGE in patients with HAstV and SaV.

Results: Of the 656 stool samples, 63.72% (418/656) were found to be positive, with 550 enteropathogens (296 bacteria and 254 viruses). HAstV and SaV were detected in 20 (3.0%) and 12 (1.8%) samples, respectively. Four genotypes (genotypes 1, 2, 3, and 8) of HAstV and three genotypes (GI.1, GI.2 and GIV) of SaV were identified. Coinfection was observed in ten HAstV-positive and two SaV-positive samples. HAstV was more likely to occur in winter, while SaV in early spring. The median age of the patients with single HAstV infection was higher than that of the patients with other viruses (rotavirus, norovirus, and enteric adenovirus; P = 0.0476) and unknown etiology (P = 0.006). Coinfection with HAstV or SaV were not associated with disease severity (P > 0.05).

Conclusion: HAstV and SaV are the common causes of AGE in Guangzhou, China.

Keywords: Acute gastroenteritis; Astrovirus; Clinical features; Molecular epidemiology; Sapovirus.

MeSH terms

  • Feces
  • Gastroenteritis* / epidemiology
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Mamastrovirus* / genetics
  • Outpatients
  • Phylogeny
  • Sapovirus* / genetics