The distribution of hepatitis B virus (HBV) in the populations of island Southeast Asia is of medical and anthropological interest and is associated with an unusually high genetic diversity. This study examined the association of this HBV genetic diversity with the ethnogeography of the populations of the Indonesian archipelago. Whole genome analysis of 21 HBV isolates from East Nusa Tenggara and Papua revealed two recently reported HBV/B subgenotypes unique to the former, B7 (7 isolates) and B8 (5 isolates), and uncovered a further novel subgenotype designated B9 (4 isolates). Further isolates were collected from 419 individuals with defined ethnic backgrounds representing 40 populations. HBV/B was predominant in Austronesian-language-speaking populations, whereas HBV/C was the major genotype in Papua and Papua-influenced populations of Moluccas; HBV/B3 was the predominant subgenotype in the western half of the archipelago (speakers of the Western Malayo-Polynesian (WMP) branch of Austronesian languages), whereas B7, B8 and B9 were specific to Nusa Tenggara (Central Malayo-Polynesian (CMP)). The result provides the first direct evidence that the distribution of HBV genotypes/subgenotypes in the Indonesian archipelago is related to the ethnic origin of its populations and suggests that the HBV distribution is associated with the ancient migratory events in the peopling of the archipelago.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: May 1, 2011
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