Genotypic dominance and novel recombinations in HBV genotype B and C co-infected intravenous drug users

Authors

  • Bing-Fang Chen,

    1. School of Medicine, Fu Jen Catholic University, National Taiwan University College of Medicine and National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
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  • Jia-Horng Kao,

    1. Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine, National Taiwan University College of Medicine and National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
    2. Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University College of Medicine and National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
    3. Hepatitis Research Center, National Taiwan University College of Medicine and National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
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  • Chun-Jen Liu,

    1. Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University College of Medicine and National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
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  • Ding-Shinn Chen,

    1. Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine, National Taiwan University College of Medicine and National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
    2. Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University College of Medicine and National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
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  • Pei-Jer Chen

    Corresponding author
    1. Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine, National Taiwan University College of Medicine and National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
    2. Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University College of Medicine and National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
    • Director, Graduate Institute of Clinical Medicine, National Taiwan University College of Medicine, 1 Chang-Te Street, Taipei 100, Taiwan.
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Abstract

Pathogenic differences among hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotypes have been documented. However, the interaction between different HBV genotypes remains unclear. Herein, we chose HBV genotypes B (HBV/B) and C (HBV/C) co-infected intravenous drug users to study this issue. HBV genotype was determined in 40 HBsAg, anti-HCV, and anti-HDV co-positive intravenous drug users by using genotype-specific primers. The distribution of HBV genotype was as follows: HBV genotype B alone in 29 (72.5%); HBV genotype C alone in 4 (10.0%); and mixed HBV genotype B and HBV genotype C in 7 (17.5%). The interaction between HBV genotype B and HBV genotype C within the same individual was further studied in the seven intravenous drug users with HBV genotype B and HBV genotype C co-infection. By direct sequencing of the pre-S region, only HBV genotype B was detected. When 10–21 clones of the pre-S region were propagated from each intravenous drug user and sequenced, most of the clones were HBV genotype B. Novel recombinations between HBV genotype B and HBV genotype C occurred in four clones (M7-5, M1-10, M1-21, and M1-24) from two intravenous drug users (M7 and M1). The recombination breakpoints were estimated at nucleotide 3120–3171 for M7-5, at nucleotide 3060–3191 for M1-10, and at nucleotide 2910–2950 for M1-21 and M1-24 by SimPlot program. The recombination sites of these HBV/pre-S C-B and B-C recombinants may be within the pre-S1 region. The results in this study suggest that HBV/B is the dominant strain in HBV genotypes B and C co-infected intravenous drug users in Taiwan, and recombinations between different HBV genotype are not unusual. The impact of recombination on the evolution of HBV and their clinical significance remains to be studied. J. Med. Virol. 73:13–22, 2004. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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