Hepatitis B virus (HBV) has been classified into 10 distinct serological subtypes of the surface antigen (HBsAg) that can be predicted by sequencing of the corresponding S gene. HBV genotype D usually displays determinants of subtypes ayw2 or ayw3. On the other hand, subtype adrq+ has been found exclusively in association with genotype C. Here, we describe the first HBV genome (isolate BR32) belonging to genotype D with the serological subtype adrq+. This isolate had a genome length of 3,062 nucleotides (nt), and no recombination events were observed in the BR32 genome that could explain the occurrence of the subtype adr in a genotype D isolate. Analysis of the quasispecies population revealed that 28 out of 30 clones (93%) were of subtype adrq+, while the subtypes of the two remaining could not be determined, since they contained an S residue (instead of K or R) at position 122 of HBsAg. These results will contribute to further epidemiological and evolutionary studies of HBV.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 8, 2017
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