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J Med Virol. 2018 Aug;90(8):1328-1336. doi: 10.1002/jmv.25200. Epub 2018 May 1.

Evolution of HBV S-gene in the backdrop of HDV co-infection.

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Department of Microbiology, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan.
Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.
National Institute of Liver and Gastrointestinal Diseases, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan.
Department of Pathology and Dow Institute of Biotechnology and Biomedical Sciences, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan.
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Nazarbayev School of Medicine, Nazarbayev University, Astana, Kazakhstan.
Department of Pathology, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan.


HBV-HDV co-infected people have a higher chance of developing cirrhosis, fulminant hepatitis, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) compared to those infected only with HBV. The present study was conducted to investigate HBV genotypes and phylogeny among HBV mono-infected and HBV-HDV co-infected patients, as well as analyze mutations in the surface gene of HBV in mono-infected and co-infected patients. A total of 100 blood samples (50 co-infected with HBV and HDV, and 50 mono-infected with HBV only) were collected for this study. HBV DNA was extracted from patient sera and partial surface antigen gene was amplified from HBV genome using polymerase chain reaction. HBV S gene was sequenced from 49 mono-infected and 36 co-infected patients and analyzed to identify HBV genotypes and phylogenetic patterns. Subsequently, HBV S amino acid sequences were analyzed for mutational differences between sequences from mono- and co-infected patients. HBV genotype D was predominantly found in both mono-infected as well as co-infected patients. Phylogenetic analysis showed the divergence of HBV sequences, between mono- and co-infected patients, into two distinct clusters. HBV S gene mutation analysis revealed certain mutations in HBV-HDV co-infected subjects to be distinct from those found in mono-infected patients. This might indicate the evolution of HBV S gene under selection pressures generated from HDV coinfection.


evolution; hepatitis B virus; hepatitis D virus; mutation/mutation rate; virus classification

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