Genotype characterization and phylogenetic analysis of hepatitis B virus isolates from Iranian patients



Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is one of the major causative agents of acute and chronic liver disease worldwide and is believed to be responsible for a million deaths annually. Eight genotypes of HBV, A to H, have been described on the basis of similarity of the complete genomes sequence. Although, it is reported that the predominant HBV genotype in the Mediterranean area and the middle east is genotype D, there are no reports on HBV genotypes prevalent in Iran. In this study, the C and S regions of HBV from 26 chronic hepatitis B Iranian patients were amplified and sequenced. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that all Iranian HBV isolates sequences were classified into genotype D with bootstrap values of 100%, 73%, and 100% (1,000 replicates each) for S, C, and preS2 regions, respectively. The mean percent intra-distance of S and C regions were 0.8% and 2.3%, respectively. The mean percent inter-distance of S and C regions between Iranians and genotype D isolates were 1.7% and 3.0%, respectively, and the range of mean percent nucleotide distance of S and C regions between Iranians and the other reference isolates were 7.9%–17.5% and 4.8%–14.7%, respectively. Thirteen out of 23 HBV C region sequences showed nucleotide “A” at position 1896 (precore mutant) in C region. Nucleotide 1858 showed presence of “T” in all isolates. No insertion or deletion was found in both regions. SimPlot and BootScanning analyses did not show any recombination between Iranian isolates and other genotypes in both regions. J. Med. Virol. 75:227–234, 2005. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.