Sapovirus infection as another cause of persistent viral diarrhea: case series and review of the literature

Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2024 Jan;43(1):55-59. doi: 10.1007/s10096-023-04695-6. Epub 2023 Nov 4.


Human sapovirus (HuSaV) is a common cause of gastroenteritis worldwide and is responsible for approximately 4% of acute gastroenteritis episodes in Europe. As reported with norovirus, patients with immunocompromised states are at increased risk of developing HuSaV infection, which can lead to persistent diarrhea and chronic viral shedding in some individuals. Chronic infections are incompletely investigated in these patients, and, due to the lack of specific treatment for HuSaV infection, different clinical approaches were carried out in order to provide further evidence on clinical evolution of these patients with different treatments. In this retrospective study, we report five immunocompromised pediatric patients with recurrent diarrhea caused by HuSaV and long-term viral shedding. Stool samples were analyzed by real-time PCR and tested for enteropathogenic viruses and bacteria and protozoa. Among transplant recipients, reduction of immunosuppressant therapy led to clinical improvement and relief of symptoms, maintaining a balance between managing the infection and preventing graft rejection. Nitazoxanide for 14 days was only used in one of these patients, showing to be an effective therapy to achieve reduction in time to resolution of symptoms. Neither nitazoxanide nor modification of immunosuppressant therapy could avoid recurrences. Further investigations are needed to develop new approaches that can both clear the infection and avoid persistent diarrhea in these patients.

Keywords: Diarrhea; Human sapovirus; Immunocompromised; Nitazoxanide.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenovirus Infections, Human*
  • Caliciviridae Infections* / diagnosis
  • Child
  • Diarrhea / diagnosis
  • Enterovirus Infections*
  • Feces
  • Gastroenteritis* / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Infant
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sapovirus* / genetics


  • nitazoxanide
  • Immunosuppressive Agents