Sapporo Virus Profile

The human “Sapporo-like viruses” are associated with gastroenteritis, and are part of the genus Sapovirus. They are shed into the feces, and have a polyadenylated positive-sense single-stranded RNA genome with two (or three) major open reading frames (ORFs).

These viruses have a worldwide distribution. The Sapporo virus antibody prevalence rates for adults in Japan, Canada, United States, China, Singapore, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea ranged from 70-100%. The acquisition of antibodies begins early in life – in the developing country setting, such as Kenya, antibodies were acquired by 1 or 2 years of age, as observed for the “Norwalk-like viruses” in such areas.

“Sapporo-like viruses” have been considered to be primarily associated with pediatric gastroenteritis, but only infrequently with severe infantile gastroenteritis requiring hospitalization. These viruses are not characteristically associated with outbreaks in adults and older children (as with “Norwalk-like viruses”). Also unlike “Norwalk-like viruses,” “Sapporo-like viruses” do not appear to be important agents of food-borne gastroenteritis outbreaks (although one such outbreak has been documented in adults).


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