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J Gen Virol. 2001 Feb;82(Pt 2):373-8.

Sequence comparison of an Australian duck hepatitis B virus strain with other avian hepadnaviruses.

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Hepatitis Virus Research Laboratory, Department of Molecular Biosciences, Adelaide University, North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5005, Australia Institute of Medical and Veterinary Science, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia.


The genome of an Australian strain of duck hepatitis B virus (AusDHBV) was cloned from a pool of congenitally DHBV-infected-duck serum, fully sequenced and found by phylogenetic analyses to belong to the 'Chinese' DHBV branch of the avian hepadnaviruses. Sequencing of the Pre-S/S gene of four additional AusDHBV clones demonstrated that the original clone (pBL4.8) was representative of the virus present in the pool, and a head-to-tail dimer of the clone was infectious when inoculated into newly hatched ducks. When the published sequences of 20 avian hepadnaviruses were compared, substitutions or deletions in the polymerase (POL) gene were most frequent in the 500 nt segment encoding the 'spacer' domain that overlaps with the Pre-S domain of the Pre-S/S gene in a different reading frame. In contrast, substitutions and deletions were rare within the adjacent segment that encodes the reverse transcriptase domain of the POL protein and the S domain of the envelope protein, presumably because they are more often deleterious.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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