1887

Abstract

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is classified into seven genotypes based on genetic diversity, and most genotypes have been found in Africa. Infections with HCV genotype 2 (HCV2) are most prevalent in West Africa and it was suggested that HCV2 originated in West Africa. To better understand the evolutionary epidemiology of HCV2 in Africa, we examined new NS5B sequences of HCV2 strains obtained from Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Nigeria sequenced at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with those available from West, North and Central Africa. Bayesian phylogeographic analysis using a discrete trait model showed that Ghana was the most likely geographical region for the origin of HCV2. Spread of HCV2 from Ghana did not appear to be through diffusion to adjacent countries along the coast. Rather, it was transmitted from Ghana to many distant countries in Africa, suggesting that certain routes of geographical dissemination were historically more efficient than mere proximity and that the HCV2 epidemic history in West Africa is extremely complex.

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2015-08-01
2020-01-24
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