Sapovirus as a gastrointestinal pathogen in febrile pediatric patients with cancer


  • The authors who have taken part in this study declare that they have nothing to disclose regarding funding or conflict of interest with respect to this study.


Human caliciviruses are the second most common cause of viral gastroenteritis after rotavirus in children. Unlike norovirus, sapovirus infection is less well characterized and defined in the clinical setting of gastrointestinal disease, and there are no reports of sapovirus infections in pediatric oncology patients receiving chemotherapy treatment. Stool samples from all pediatric oncology patients presenting with fever and diarrhea at one pediatric oncology unit were tested prospectively for sapovirus by real-time reverse transcription-PCR sapovirus genogrouping was performed by nested PCR. Sapovirus was detected in 2 of 100 stool specimens prospectively sampled from 58 symptomatic pediatric oncology inpatients between December 2008 and September 2009. Both patients received low-dose chemotherapy for their underlying conditions at the time of infection with sapovirus. Genogrouping of the viruses showed the presence of a GI.1 strain and GII.3 strain, unlike the most common GI.2 strain responsible for outbreaks in different European countries. The contribution of sapovirus infection to the morbidity of pediatric cancer patients and its potential for nosocomial spread is discussed. Sapovirus, an often unrecognized pathogen, should be considered along with other viruses in pediatric cancer patients suffering from gastrointestinal disease. J. Med. Virol. 83:2233–2236, 2011. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.