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Genes (Basel). 2018 Sep 7;9(9). pii: E453. doi: 10.3390/genes9090453.

Molecular Characterization of Near Full-Length Genomes of Hepatitis B Virus Isolated from Predominantly HIV Infected Individuals in Botswana.

Author information

1
Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership, Gaborone, Botswana. motswedi.anderson@gmail.com.
2
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana. motswedi.anderson@gmail.com.
3
Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership, Gaborone, Botswana. wtchoga@gmail.com.
4
Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership, Gaborone, Botswana. smoyo@bhp.org.bw.
5
Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02138, USA. smoyo@bhp.org.bw.
6
Hepatitis Virus Diversity Research Unit (HVDRU), Department of Internal Medicine, School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg 2050, South Africa. TrevorGrahamBell@gmail.com.
7
Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership, Gaborone, Botswana. mbangiwat@gmail.com.
8
Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana. mbangiwat@gmail.com.
9
Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership, Gaborone, Botswana. bphinius@gmail.com.
10
Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership, Gaborone, Botswana. lynnettebhebhe@gmail.com.
11
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana. sebunyat@gmail.com.
12
Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership, Gaborone, Botswana. shahin.lockman@gmail.com.
13
Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02138, USA. shahin.lockman@gmail.com.
14
Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership, Gaborone, Botswana. rmarlink@globalhealth.rutgers.edu.
15
Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02138, USA. rmarlink@globalhealth.rutgers.edu.
16
Rutgers Global Health Institute, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA. rmarlink@globalhealth.rutgers.edu.
17
Hepatitis Virus Diversity Research Unit (HVDRU), Department of Internal Medicine, School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg 2050, South Africa. Anna.Kramvis@wits.ac.za.
18
Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership, Gaborone, Botswana. messex@hsph.harvard.edu.
19
Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02138, USA. messex@hsph.harvard.edu.
20
Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership, Gaborone, Botswana. rmusonda@bhp.org.bw.
21
College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45627, USA. jason.blackard@uc.edu.
22
Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership, Gaborone, Botswana. sgaseitsiwe@bhp.org.bw.
23
Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02138, USA. sgaseitsiwe@bhp.org.bw.

Abstract

The World Health Organization plans to eliminate hepatitis B and C Infections by 2030. Therefore, there is a need to study and understand hepatitis B virus (HBV) epidemiology and viral evolution further, including evaluating occult (HBsAg-negative) HBV infection (OBI), given that such infections are frequently undiagnosed and rarely treated. We aimed to molecularly characterize HBV genomes from 108 individuals co-infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and chronic hepatitis B (CHB) or OBI identified from previous HIV studies conducted in Botswana from 2009 to 2012. Full-length (3.2 kb) and nearly full-length (~3 kb) genomes were amplified by nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Sequences from OBI participants were compared to sequences from CHB participants and GenBank references to identify OBI-unique mutations. HBV genomes from 50 (25 CHB and 25 OBI) individuals were successfully genotyped. Among OBI participants, subgenotype A1 was identified in 12 (48%), D3 in 12 (48%), and E in 1 (4%). A similar genotype distribution was observed in CHB participants. Whole HBV genome sequences from Botswana, representing OBI and CHB, were compared for the first time. There were 43 OBI-unique mutations, of which 26 were novel. Future studies using larger sample sizes and functional analysis of OBI-unique mutations are warranted.

KEYWORDS:

Africa; Botswana; HBV; chronic hepatitis B; mutations; occult hepatitis B

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