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Genetic diversity of sapovirus infections in Danish children 2005-2007.

BACKGROUND: Sapoviruses are known to cause gastroenteritis mainly in young children.

OBJECTIVES: To establish a collection of sapoviruses and to gain knowledge about the genetic diversity and epidemiology of sapoviruses circulating in children in Denmark.

STUDY DESIGN: During a 24-month period in 2005-2007 samples from 1104 children, aged 0-3 years, submitted for acute gastroenteritis diagnostics, were analysed for sapoviruses by real-time PCR. Genotyping of positive findings was carried out by sequencing part of the capsid gene, and in several cases also part of the polymerase gene.

RESULTS: Sapoviruses were detected in stool samples from 97 children (9%), with the highest prevalence in the 7-18 months age group. Viruses from three genogroups and seven genotypes were found. Genotype I.1 was demonstrated in half of the positive samples and was observed throughout the study period. The less common types seemed to appear during shorter periods, often in succession of each other. Positive samples were detected throughout the study period. The only months, in both years studied, with high proportions of positive samples were September, November and February.

CONCLUSIONS: Sapoviruses were commonly found in children with gastroenteritis in Denmark. No clear seasonal pattern could be seen. Genotype I.1 was clearly the most common genotype found, but several other genotypes circulated during shorter periods.

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