1887

Abstract

Complete or almost complete hepatitis B virus (HBV) genomes were sequenced for 13 genotype A and 42 genotype D strains from the former USSR. The strains were classifiable within subgenotypes A2, D1, D2 and D3. Comparison of the deduced gene products for the four ORFs of 89 genotype D strains revealed 27 subgenotype-specific residues, and a region spanning residues 58–128 in the spacer region of the P gene could be used to distinguish between D1 and D4. This enabled the allocation to subgenotype of strains with partially sequenced genomes. D2 was dominating, while D3 was found in low frequency in the whole region. D1 was most prevalent in the Middle Asian Republics. Mean inter-subgenotype divergences between D1 and D2, D1 and D3 and D2 and D3 were 2.7, 3.4 and 3.4 %, respectively. The intra-subgenotype divergence was 0.4, 1.1, 1.0 and 1.8 % for A2, D1, D2 and D3, respectively. All D1 and D3 strains encoded subtype , whereas most D2 strains encoded . Two D2 strains encoded . Strains with identical S genes were closely related at the level of complete genomes and formed geographically specific clades with low intraclade divergences, possibly indicating past iatrogenic spread. It is not clear whether the finding of four subgenotypes in the area corresponds to separate introductions of the virus or to previous population migrations into the area. An earlier introduction of D3 compared with D2 was supported by its higher intra-subgenotype divergence, while the lower divergence within D1 is probably due to a more recent emergence.

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2008-08-01
2019-10-18
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