, Volume 42, Issue 7, pp 560-566
Date: 25 Jul 2007

Analysis of hepatitis A virus protein 2B in sera of hepatitis A of various severities

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In our recent study of the full-length hepatitis A virus (HAV) genome from some patients with fulminant hepatitis and acute hepatitis, possible associations were suggested between the severity of hepatitis A and the amino acid substitutions in the nonstructural protein 2B. We therefore analyzed HAV 2B from many patients with various clinical disease severities.


Serum samples from 30 Japanese patients with sporadic hepatitis A from five widely separated regions of Japan, comprising nine patients with fulminant hepatitis (FH), six with severe acute hepatitis (AHs), and 15 with acute hepatitis (AH), were examined for HAV RNA. The entire sequences of HAV 2B were analyzed.


Compared with the sequence of the wild-type HAV strain GBM, nucleotide sequences of 2B had homology of 94.5 ± 1.0% in FH, 95.2 ± 1.2% in AHs, and 95.1 ± 1.8% in AH. Deduced amino acid sequences had homology of 97.5 ± 2.1% in FH, 97.9 ± 2.4% in AHs, and 98.5 ± 1.3% in AH. Differences were not statistically significant among the three groups. The average number of amino acid mutations between amino acids 100 and 200 was 5.0 ± 5.2 per case in FH, 4.0 ± 6.0 in AHs, and 1.9 ± 2.9 in AH. The differences between FH and AH, AHs and AH, and between severe cases (FH and AHs) and nonsevere cases (AH) were not statistically significant (P = 0.13, P = 0.45, and P = 0.10, respectively).


There were no obvious differences in the sequences among FH, AHs, and AH throughout the 2B region, but there seemed to be more mutations in the strains obtained from FH and AHs patients than in those obtained from AH patients in the central part of HAV 2B.

An erratum to this article can be found online at http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00535-007-2154-5.