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J Mol Evol. 1996 Feb;42(2):97-102.

Recombination between sequences of hepatitis B virus from different genotypes.

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Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, UK.


A comparison of 25 hepatitis B virus (HBV) isolates for which complete genome sequences are available revealed two that occupied different positions in phylogenetic trees reconstructed from different open reading frames. Further analysis indicated that this incongruence was the result of recombination between viruses of different genomic and antigenic types. Both putative recombinants originated from geographic regions where multiple genotypes are known to cocirculate. A search of the sequence databases showed evidence of similar intergenotypic recombinants. These observations indicate that recombination between divergent strains may represent an important source of genetic variation in HBV.

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