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Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz. 2013 Aug;108(5):541-7.

Molecular characterisation of hepatitis B virus in the resident Chinese population in Panama City.

Author information

1
Gorgas Memorial Institute for Health Studies, Panama, Panama.

Abstract

Despite the effectiveness of current hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccines, it is estimated that 350 million individuals suffer from chronic HBV infection and more than 50% of these affected individuals live on the Asian continent. Panama is a country with a great diversity of foreign groups; the Chinese community is a large example of this phenomenon. There is an urgent need to perform studies that evaluate the prevalence and the genetic diversity of HBV in this community. This study aimed to evaluate the prevalence of HBV and its genotypes and mutant variants in the Chinese population residing in Panama. In total, 320 subjects were enrolled in the study. Forty-two subjects (13.1%) were positive for HBsAg and HBV-DNA from 18 subjects revealed the presence of genotypes B2 and C1. Secondary mutations associated with drug resistance at positions rtV207L and rtN239T of the reverse transcriptase gene were identified. Additionally, the mutation pair A1762T/G1764A was found in three samples and the mutation G1896A was detected in an HBeAg-negative subject. In conclusion, to our knowledge, this is the first study to report high HBV prevalence rates in resident ethnic Chinese in Central America and the presence of genotypes B2 and C1 in this region.

PMID:
23903967
PMCID:
PMC3970604
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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