Hepatitis B virus genotypes and subgenotypes and the natural history and epidemiology of hepatitis B

Nov. 24, 2021

Introduction and Objectives: Espírito Santo state is considered a region with a higher frequency of hepatitis B virus infection. This study characterized demographic, epidemiological, laboratory, virological and clinical aspects of 587 chronic HBV carriers followed up at the University of Espírito Santo Hospital. Materials and Methods: Demographic, epidemiological, laboratory and clinical data were extracted from medical records during the entire follow-up period. Classification of the evolutionary phases of chronic hepatitis B was defined as immunotolerant; inactive carrier; chronic active hepatitis HBeAg (+)  and HBeAg (-). Characterization of HBV genotypes/subgenotypes was performed by sequencing of overlapping surface antigens and HBV DNA polymerase genes. Phylogenetic relationships were determined using BEAST 1.8.3 software. Results: and Conclusions: Genotypes found were A (132/65.3%) [A1 = 129 (63.9%) and A2 = 3 (1.5%)], D (66/32.7%) [D3 = 56 (27.7%), D4 = 8 (4.0%) and D2 = 2 (1.0%)] and F (4/2.0%) - all F2a. Subgenotypes A1 or D3 were not associated with age, sex, HIV/HCV co-infection, viral load, antiviral usage, HBeAg status or clinical stages of chronic hepatitis B. Mother –to-child-transmission (MTCT) was associated with the subgenotype A1 and intrafamilial transmission with subgenotype D3. Subgenotype A1 was more frequent than D3 among individuals born outside ES compared to those born in ES. Conclusions: The most predominant clinical phases were HBeAg (-), inactive carrier and chronic active hepatitis HBeAg (-). Subgenotypes A1 and D3 were most frequent and were associated were MTCT and intrafamilial transmission of HBV, respectively.

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