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J Clin Microbiol. 2001 Apr;39(4):1536-9.

Molecular characteristic-based epidemiology of hepatitis B, C, and E viruses and GB virus C/hepatitis G virus in Myanmar.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, National Institute of Infectious Diseases, Tokyo, Japan.


We carried out a molecular characteristic-based epidemiological survey of various hepatitis viruses, including hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepatitis E virus (HEV), and GB virus C (GBV-C)/hepatitis G virus (HGV), in Myanmar. The study population of 403 subjects consisted of 213 healthy individuals residing in the city of Yangon, Myanmar, and the surrounding suburbs and 190 liver disease patients (155 virus-related liver disease patients and 35 nonviral disease patients). The infection rates of the viruses among the 213 healthy subjects were as follows: 8% for HBV (16 patients), 2% for HCV (4 patients), and 8% for GBV-C/HGV (17 patients). In contrast, for 155 patients with acute hepatitis, chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, or hepatocellular carcinoma, the infection rates were 30% for HBV (46 patients), 27% for HCV (41 patients), and 11% for GBV-C/HGV (17 patients). In the nonviral liver disease group of 35 patients with alcoholic liver disease, fatty liver, liver abscess, and biliary disease, the infection rates were 6% for HBV (2 patients), 20% for HCV (7 patients), and 26% for GBV-C/HGV (9 patients). The most common viral genotypes were type C of HBV (77%), type 3b of HCV (67%), and type 2 of GBV-C/HGV (67%). Moreover, testing for HEV among 371 subjects resulted in the detection of anti-HEV immunoglobulin G (IgG) in 117 patients (32%). The age prevalence of anti-HEV IgG was 3% for patients younger than 20 years and 30% or more for patients 20 years of age or older. Furthermore, a high prevalence of anti-HEV IgG (24%) was also found in swine living together with humans in Yangon. These results suggest that these hepatitis virus infections are widespread in Myanmar and have led to a high incidence of acute and chronic liver disease patients in the region.

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