1887

Abstract

Complete nucleotide sequences of 19 hepatitis B virus (HBV) isolates of genotype A (HBV/A) were determined and analysed along with those of 20 previously reported HBV/A isolates. Of the 19 HBV/A isolates, six including three from Japan and three from the USA clustered with the 14 HBV/A isolates from Western countries. The remaining 13 isolates including four from The Philippines, two from India, three from Nepal and four from Bangladesh clustered with the six HBV/A isolates reported from The Philippines, South Africa and Malawi. Due to distinct epidemiological distributions, genotype A in the 20 HBV isolates was classified into subtype Ae (e for Europe), and that in the other 19 into subtype Aa (a for Asia and Africa) provisionally. The 19 HBV/Aa isolates had a sequence variation significantly greater than that of the 20 HBV/Ae isolates (2·5±0·3 % vs 1·1±0·6 %, <0·0001); they differed by 5·0±0·4 % (4·1–6·4 %). The double mutation (T1762/A1764) in the core promoter was significantly more frequent in HBV/Aa isolates than in HBV/Ae isolates (11/19 or 58 % vs 5/20 or 25 %, <0·01). In the pregenome encapsidation () signal, a point mutation from G to A or T at nt 1862 was detected in 16 of the 19 (84 %) HBV/Aa isolates but not in any of the 20 HBV/Ae isolates, which may affect virus replication and translation of hepatitis B e antigen. Subtypes Aa and Ae of genotype A deserve evaluation for any clinical differences between them, with a special reference to hepatocellular carcinoma prevalent in Africa.

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2004-04-01
2020-10-29
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