A natural inter-genotypic (2b/1b) recombinant of hepatitis C virus in the Philippines



The prevalence study and the characterization of hepatitis C virus (HCV) was carried out in the Philippines and the sequence determination of the 5′-untranslated region (5′-UTR)-Core and the NS5B regions of HCV was carried out in this study. An HCV strain (SE-03-07-1689) collected in Metro Manila, Philippines, belonged to discordant subtypes, 2b and 1b in 5′-UTR-Core and NS5B regions, respectively. The 9.3 kb sequence of this strain including the entire open reading frame was compared with those of the reference strains retrieved from the HCV sequences database (GenBank/EMBL/DDBJ) and indicated a recombination event. The computation of the sequence similarity mapped a crossover point within the NS3 region. This is the second report on the inter-genotype recombinant of HCV and the third when an intra-genotype recombinant is included. This recombinant strain, SE-03-07-1689, is designated tentatively as RF3_2b/1b according to the suggestions used for the other two HCV recombinants. J. Med. Virol. 78:1423–1428, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.