Incidence, Diversity, and Molecular Epidemiology of Sapoviruses in Swine across Europe

G. Reuter, J. Zimsek-Mijovski, M. Poljsak-Prijatelj, I. Di Bartolo, F.M. Ruggeri, T. Kantala, L. Maunula, I. Kiss, S. Kecskemeti, N. Halaihel, J. Buesa, C. Johnsen, Charlotte Kristiane Hjulsager, Lars Erik Larsen, M. Koopmans, B. Bottiger

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Porcine sapovirus is an enteric calicivirus in domestic pigs that belons to the family Caliciviridae. Some porcine sapoviruses are genetically related to human caliciviruses, which has raised public health concerns over animal reservoirs and potential cross-species transmission of sapoviruses. We report on the incidence, genetic diversity and molecular epidemiology of sapoviruses detected in domestic pigs in a comprehensive study conducted in six European countries (Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Italy, Slovenia and Spain) between 2004 and 2007. A total of 1,050 swine fecal samples from 88 pig farms were collected and tested by reverse transcription-PCR for sapoviruses, and positive findings were confirmed by sequencing. Sapoviruses were detected in 80 (7.6%) samples collected on 39 (44.3%) farms and in every country. The highest prevalence was seen among piglets aged 2 to 8 weeks, and there was no significant difference in the proportion of sapovirus positive findings in healthy animals or animals with diarrhea in Spain and Denmark (the only countries where both healthy animals and animals with diarrhea were tested). On the basis of the RNA polymerase region, highly heterogeneous populations of viruses representing six differential genogroups (genogroups III, VI, VII, and VIII, including potential new genogroups IX and X) were identified, with a predominance of genogroup GIII (50.6%). Genogroup VIII, found in five of the six countries, had the highest degree of homology (up to 66% at the amino acid level) to human sapovirus strains. Sapoviruses are commonly circulating and endemic agents in swine herds throughout Europe. Highly heterogenous and potential new genogroups of sapoviruses were found in pigs; however, no "human-like" sapoviruses were detected.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
    Issue number2
    Pages (from-to)363-368
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


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