1887

Abstract

GB virus C (GBV-C), a positive-strand RNA virus, currently infects approximately one-sixth of the world's population. This virus exists as a collection of genotypes whose global distribution correlates with geographical origin. Genotyping of GBV-C isolates by phylogenetic analysis has relied upon the use of 5′-untranslated region (5′-UTR) sequences, however, complete genome sequences are used to demonstrate definitively their existence and geographical correlation. Initial identification of the fifth genotype from South Africa was based upon phylogenetic analysis of the 5′-UTR. It was sought to confirm this classification by analysis of full-length E2 genes from South African isolates and by analysis of a complete genotype 5 genome. Analysis of full-length E2 genes from 28 GBV-C-infected South African individuals revealed the existence of a unique group of 18 isolates, distinct from the other four genotypes. Bootstrap analysis provided strong support (95 %) for this fifth group. The remaining isolates were either genotype 1 (=8) or 2 (=2). Analysis of human E2 gene sequences, with the E2 gene from the chimpanzee variant GBV-C included as the outgroup, produced a tree rooted on the genotype 1 branch. The complete genome nucleotide sequence of South African genotype 5 isolate D50 was determined. Phylogenetic analysis of the 5′-UTR and open reading frame produced congruent trees that grouped the sequences into five major genotypes. Inclusion of the corresponding region of the chimpanzee isolate GBV-C in the analysis produced trees rooted on the branch leading to the genotype 5 isolate D50, suggesting an ancient African origin of GBV-C.

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2005-06-01
2021-10-24
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