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Molecular virology of hepatitis B virus, sub-Genotype C4 in northern Australian Indigenous populations

Littlejohn, M., Davies, Jane, Yuen, L., Edwards, R., Sozzi, T., Jackson, K., Cowie, B., Tong, Steven Y. C., Davis, Joshua S. and Locarnini, S. (2014). Molecular virology of hepatitis B virus, sub-Genotype C4 in northern Australian Indigenous populations. Journal of Medical Virology,86:695-706.

Document type: Journal Article
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IRMA ID cmartelxPUB142
Title Molecular virology of hepatitis B virus, sub-Genotype C4 in northern Australian Indigenous populations
Author Littlejohn, M.
Davies, Jane
Yuen, L.
Edwards, R.
Sozzi, T.
Jackson, K.
Cowie, B.
Tong, Steven Y. C.
Davis, Joshua S.
Locarnini, S.
Journal Name Journal of Medical Virology
Publication Date 2014
Volume Number 86
ISSN 0146-6615   (check CDU catalogue open catalogue search in new window)
Start Page 695
End Page 706
Total Pages 12
Place of Publication United States of America
Publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
HERDC Category C1 - Journal Article (DIISR)
Abstract Indigenous Australians experience a significant health burden from chronic hepatitis B infection; however, the strain of hepatitis B virus (HBV) found among Indigenous Australians has not been well characterized. Blood samples were collected from 65 Indigenous Australians with chronic HBV infection from across the Top End of Australia's Northern Territory. Phylogenetic analysis of HBV from these samples revealed that 100% of the isolates were genotype C, sub-genotype C4, expressing the serotype ayw3. This strain is a divergent group within the HBV/C genotype, and has only been described in Indigenous Australians. Evidence of recombination was suggested by discordant phylogenetic clustering of the C4 sequences when comparing the full genome to the surface region and confirmed by recombination analysis which showed the surface gene region to be most closely related to genotype J, while the remaining regions of the genome were most similar to genotype C sequences. Mutational analysis revealed the presence of multiple mutations that have been linked with more rapid liver disease progression and an increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma. These mutations were detected in the majority of sequences examined. Variants associated with vaccine failure were detected as the predominant viral quasi-species in 3/35 samples. In summary, the HBV C4 variant found in this population has a high potential to cause advanced liver disease and to escape vaccination programs. Further in vitro functional and natural history studies are warranted in order to determine the clinical and public health consequences of infection with the HBV C4 variant in these communities.
Keywords Hepatitis B virus
Molecular epidemiology
Phylogenetic analysis
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Created: Wed, 19 Aug 2015, 12:34:30 CST