Journal of Gastroenterology

, Volume 44, Issue 6, pp 568–576 | Cite as

A phylogenetic study of hepatitis B virus in chronically infected Brazilian patients of Western and Asian descent

  • Cintia Mendes Clemente
  • Flair José Carrilho
  • João Renato Rebello Pinho
  • Suzane Kioko Ono-Nita
  • Luiz Caetano Da Silva
  • Regina Célia Moreira
  • Marcílio Figueiredo Lemos
  • Isabel Maria Vicente Guedes de Carvalho Mello
Original Article—Liver, Pancreas, and Biliary Tract

Abstract

Background

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) causes one of the most important chronic viral infections worldwide. HBV is classified into eight genotypes whose epidemiology varies geographically. In Brazil, genotypes A, D, and F are more frequent, while in East Asia, genotypes B and C predominate. Several studies showed that immigrants retain the HBV infection pattern of their ancestral country.

Purpose

To identify HBV genotypes infecting chronic carriers in Brazilian families of Western and Asian descent by Hepatitis B surface antigen gene sequencing and analyze the route of viral transmission by phylogenetic analysis of viral sequences.

Methods

Eighty-seven people chronically infected with HBV were separated into two groups: Western descent (27) and Asian descent (60). Surface and pre-core/core genes were amplified from serum HBV-DNA and sequences were subjected to phylogenetic analysis.

Results

HBV genotype A was found in 74% of Western subjects, while genotype C was found in 94% of Asian patients. Thirty-eight percent of Western families were infected with HBV with similar pre-core/core sequences, while only 25% of Asian families showed similarity in these sequences.

Conclusions

Phylogenetical analysis of pre-core/core HBV gene suggested intra-familial transmission of HBV in 38% of Western families and 25% of Asian families. Analysis of HBsAg gene sequences helped to define the HBV genotype but did not allow inferring route of transmission as its sequences showed a smaller phylogenetic signal than pre-core/core sequences. Chronic HBV carriers of Asian descent born in or living in Brazil were infected with the same HBV genotype predominant in their ancestral country.

Keywords

Hepatitis B Disease transmission Genotype Phylogeny Family 

Notes

Acknowledgments

FAPESP—Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo (Grants 00/00998/1 and 0011457/1 Viral Genetic Diversity Network) and Alves de Queiroz Family Fund for Research.

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Copyright information

© Springer 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cintia Mendes Clemente
    • 1
  • Flair José Carrilho
    • 1
  • João Renato Rebello Pinho
    • 1
    • 2
  • Suzane Kioko Ono-Nita
    • 1
  • Luiz Caetano Da Silva
    • 1
  • Regina Célia Moreira
    • 3
  • Marcílio Figueiredo Lemos
    • 3
  • Isabel Maria Vicente Guedes de Carvalho Mello
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Departmento de Gastroenterologia, Faculdade de MedicinaUniversidade de São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Laboratório de Hepatologia e Gastroenterologia TropicalInstituto de Medicina Tropical da Universidade de São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  3. 3.Serviço de Virologia, Instituto Adolfo LutzSão PauloBrazil
  4. 4.Laboratório de Imunologia ViralInstituto ButantanSão PauloBrazil

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