Serious invasive Saffold virus infections in children, 2009

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The first human virus in the genus Cardiovirus was described in 2007 and named Saffold virus (SAFV). Cardioviruses can cause severe infections of the myocardium and central nervous system in animals, but SAFV has not yet been convincingly associated with disease in humans. To study a possible association between SAFV and infections in the human central nervous system, we designed a real-time PCR for SAFV and tested cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples from children <4 years of age. SAFV was detected in 2 children: in the CSF and a fecal sample from 1 child with monosymptomatic ataxia caused by cerebellitis; and in the CSF, blood, and myocardium of another child who died suddenly with no history of illness. Virus from each child was sequenced and shown to be SAFV type 2. These findings demonstrate that SAFV can cause serious invasive infection in children.


  • Alex Christian Yde Nielsen
  • Blenda Böttiger
  • Jytte Banner
  • Thomas Hoffmann
  • Lars Peter Nielsen
External organisations
  • Danish Serum Institute, Copenhagen
Research areas and keywords


  • Cardiovirus/classification, Cardiovirus Infections/cerebrospinal fluid, Central Nervous System Infections/pathology, Child, Preschool, Fatal Outcome, Feces/virology, Female, Genome, Viral, Humans, Infant, Male, Phylogeny, Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-12
JournalEmerging Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jan
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes