The hepatitis D virus (HDV) genotypes in 46 HDV-infected patients and 12 prostitutes were screened with Xhol restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of reverse transcription PCR products of viral genomes and verified by phylogenetic analysis. The amplificates of three (6.5%) patients and two (17%) prostitutes showed a novel RFLP pattern different from those of the three known genotypes. Complete HDV genomic sequence identities between isolates with a novel RFLP and the HDV genotypes I, II and III were 72.3, 77.2 and 63.0%, respectively. Importantly, divergence was mostly seen in various regions related to replication or packaging. The novel isolates formed a monophyletic group (P < 0.05) and were most closely related to genotype II.


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