Epidemiological and sequence differences between two subtypes (Ae and Aa) of hepatitis B virus genotype A

Sugauchi, Fuminaka ; Kumada, Hiromitsu ; Acharya, Subrat A. ; Shrestha, Santosh Man ; Gamutan, Maria Teresita A. ; Khan, Mobin ; Gish, Robert G. ; Tanaka, Yasuhito ; Kato, Takanobu ; Orito, Etsuro ; Ueda, Ryuzo ; Miyakawa, Yuzo ; Mizokami, Masashi (2004) Epidemiological and sequence differences between two subtypes (Ae and Aa) of hepatitis B virus genotype A Journal of General Virology, 85 (4). pp. 811-820. ISSN 0022-1317

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Official URL: http://doi.org/10.1099/vir.0.79811-0

Related URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/vir.0.79811-0


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 %, P<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 %, P<0.01). In the pregenome encapsidation (epsilon) 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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