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Virus Res. 2008 Mar;132(1-2):174-80. doi: 10.1016/j.virusres.2007.12.005. Epub 2008 Jan 22.

Transmission of hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotypes among Japanese immigrants and natives in Bolivia.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Molecular Informative Medicine, Nagoya City University, Mizuho, Nagoya 467-8601, Japan.


Hepatitis B virus genotypes are associated with transmission pattern, virological and clinical features and outcome of the chronic infection course. HBV genotypes other than Genotype F (HBV/F) are considered a reflection of human migration into South America. A total of 487 individuals in Bolivia, including Japanese immigrants (n=287) and natives (n=200), were screened for HBV serological markers. Overall 22/487 (4.5%) of the subjects were positive for HBsAg, 217/487 (44.5%) for anti-HBc and 162/487 (33.3%) for anti-HBs. Genotypes were determinable in 22 cases by EIA, followed by sequencing and phylogenetic analysis in 17 cases. HBV genotype distribution in Japanese and Bolivians was HBV/F (4 and 8); HBV/C (5 and 3); and HBV/B (1 and 1), respectively. Phylogenetic analyses of nine complete and eight partial (HBsAg/pre-core/core region) genomes, revealed that HBV/F strains cluster with previously reported regional strains, whereas HBV/B and HBV/C strains belonged to Asian subgenotype B2 (Ba) and C2 (Ce), respectively. Japanese immigrants might have introduced HBV/B and HBV/C to natives in Bolivia, conversely, exposed to the indigenous HBV/F. This report provides evidence of an inter-communities transmission of HBV revealed by its genotypes. Further study is required to investigate peculiarities of the genotypes in different ethnic groups in Bolivia.

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