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J Hepatol. 2005 Jan;42(1):47-53.

Molecular evolutionary analyses implicate injection treatment for schistosomiasis in the initial hepatitis C epidemics in Japan.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Molecular Informative Medicine, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kawasumi, Mizuho, Nagoya 467-8601, Japan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND/AIMS:

The mortality due to hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) has ranged widely in various areas of Japan since 30 years ago and the incidence was particularly high in once Schistosoma japonicum (Sj)-endemic areas. Our aim was to estimate the spread time of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in the past with possible relevance to a higher incidence of HCC in once Sj-endemic than Sj-nonendemic areas.

METHODS:

During 2001, 131 strains of HCV-1b were obtained from patients in three previously Sj-endemic areas, as well as Sj-nonendemic areas in Japan and a cross-sectional study was conducted on them with molecular evolutionary analyses.

RESULTS:

A phylogenetic tree reconstructed on HCV-1b sequences in the NS5B region disclosed 2 independent clusters for Sj-positive and -negative groups with a high bootstrap value. The estimated effective number of HCV-infections indicated a transition from quiescence to rapid exponential growth in the 1920s among patients with schistosomiasis, which is 20 years earlier than that among patients without schistosomiasis.

CONCLUSIONS:

The estimated spread time in previously Sj-endemic areas in Japan coincides with injection treatment for Sj since 1921. A high incidence of HCC there would be attributed to a long duration of HCV infection since 1920s.

PMID:
15629506
DOI:
10.1016/j.jhep.2004.09.023
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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