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J Gen Virol. 2001 Nov;82(Pt 11):2709-2718. doi: 10.1099/0022-1317-82-11-2709.

Hepatitis delta virus genotypes I and II cocirculate in an endemic area of Yakutia, Russia.

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Laboratoire de Bactériologie, Virologie - Hygiène, Equipe d'Accueil 'Agents Transmissibles et Hôtes, Signalisation Cellulaire, Oncogenèse', Hôpital Avicenne, UFR Santé Médecine Biologie Humaine, Université Paris 13, 125 route de Stalingrad, 93009, Bobigny cedex, France3.
Influenza Institute, St Petersburg, Russia1.
Yakutsk City Hospital, Yakutsk, Russia2.


Currently, three genotypes of hepatitis delta virus (HDV) are described. The most common, genotype I, has a worldwide distribution; in contrast, genotype II has been found previously only in Japan and Taiwan, while genotype III is found exclusively in South America. Considering the high prevalence of HDV in Northern Siberia (Russia), restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) was used to analyse HDV genotypes from 29 infected patients living in Yakutia. Of these isolates, 11 were characterized by partial nucleotide sequencing and two isolates were completely sequenced. Phylogenetic inference methods included maximum parsimony, maximum likelihood and distance analyses. A restriction pattern consistent with HDV genotype I was found in 14 samples, while the remaining 15 showed a different restriction pattern, inconsistent with any known genotype. Five Yakutian HDV isolates with the type I restriction pattern were sequenced and confirmed to be affiliated with genotype I, although the phylogenetic results indicate that they were heterogeneous and did not cluster together. Sequencing of eight isolates with the new RFLP pattern revealed that these isolates were most closely related to HDV genotype II. In contrast to HDV Yakutian genotype I sequences, all of these type II sequences formed a well-defined clade on phylogenetic trees. Comparison of clinical presentations during hospitalization between patients infected with HDV type I (n=14) and type II (n=15) did not reveal any differences in the severity of infection. These data indicate that the distribution of genotype II is not restricted to Taiwan or Japan, but spreads over Northern Asia, appearing in the native population of Yakutia. Type II Yakutian strains appeared to form a well-defined subclade and could be associated with severe chronic hepatitis in this area.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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