Child level

Sapelovirus A
Sapelovirus B
Avian sapelovirus
Ca. sea lion sapelovirus
Murine sapelovirus

Same level

  The genus Sapelovirus consists of three species, Sapelovirus A (formerly named Porcine sapelovirus, Sapelovirus B (formerly named Simian sapelovirus) and Avian sapelovirus.

The name Sapelovirus is derived from Simian, Avian and Porcine Entero-Like viruses.

The three sapelovirus species may be distinguished by i) different host species; and ii) sequence diversity. For example in the VP1 gene there is less than 50% amino acid identity between the species (Table 1; Fig. 1). The simian sapeloviruses (which probably belong to three [sero]types) have probably undergone some complicated recombination events as can be seen from a comparison of sequences in different genome regions (Figs. 1 and 2).

The complete genome sequences of three entero-like viruses have been determined, porcine enterovirus 8 (PEV-8) (formerly classified within the enterovirus species Porcine enterovirus A), simian virus 2 (SV2) (an unassigned member of the genus Enterovirus) and an unclassified duck picornavirus (DPV)(Krumbholtz et al., 2002; Oberste et al., 2003; Tseng and Tsai, 2007). These three viruses are related to each other (clustering together phylogenetically) (Figs. 3 and 4) and broadly resemble the enteroviruses. However, they are distinct for a number of reasons: i) they are all predicted to share a type IV (hepatitis C virus-like) internal ribosome entry site (IRES) (Hellen and de Breyne, 2007); ii) possess a Leader polypeptide; and iii) have very divergent 2A, 2B and 3A sequences such that cannot be directly compared with the same enterovirus proteins. Genetic distances from the enteroviruses in the P1cap, 2C, 3Cpro and 3Dpol regions are large (31-37%; 35-45%, 39-52%, 52-58%, respectively). Thus they have been assigned to a novel genus, Sapelovirus.

In 2011, two new sapeloviruses were discovered in California sea lions and tentatively named California sea lion sapelovirus 1 and 2 (Li et al., 2011).

A partial sequence of a murine sapelovirus has recently been reported (Phan et al., unpublished).

Genome organisation:

Porcine sapelovirus & simian sapelovirus:


Avian sapelovirus:



Hellen, C.U. and de Breyne, S. (2007). A distinct group of hepacivirus/pestivirus-like internal ribosomal entry sites in members of diverse picornavirus genera: evidence for modular exchange of functional noncoding RNA elements by recombination. J. Virol. 81: 5850-5863.

Kaku, Y., Sarai, A. and Murakami, Y. (2001). Genetic reclassification of porcine enteroviruses. J. Gen. Virol. 82: 417-424.

Krumbholz, A., Dauber, M., Henke, A., Birch-Hirschfeld, E., Knowles, N.J., Stelzner, A. and Zell, R. (2002). Sequencing of porcine enterovirus groups II and III reveals unique features of both virus groups. J. Virol. 76: 5813-5821.

Li, L., Shan, T., Wang, C., Côté, C., Kolman, J., Onions, D., Gulland, F.M.D. and Delwart, E. (2011). The fecal viral flora of California sea lions. JVI Accepts, published online ahead of print on 27 July 2011; doi:10.1128/JVI.05026-11.

Oberste, M.S., Maher, K. and Pallansch, M.A. (2003). Genomic evidence that simian virus 2 and six other simian picornaviruses represent a new genus in Picornaviridae. Virology 314: 283-293.

Tseng, C.-H. and Tsai, H.-J. (2007). Sequence analysis of a duck picornavirus isolate indicates that it together with porcine enterovirus type 8 and simian picornavirus type 2 should be assigned to a new picornavirus genus. Virus Res 129: 104-114.