In Argentina, current procedures to ensure the safety of the blood supply for transfusion include the serologic detection of specific blood-borne infections. The aim of this study was to evaluate the prevalence and the genetic diversity of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis D virus (HDV) in blood donor populations from two distantly located Argentine regions. Data from 56,983 blood donations from the Favaloro Foundation, in the city of Buenos Aires (Central Region), and the Central Blood Bank of Misiones Province (Northeast Region) were analyzed. Samples that were reactive for HBsAg were analyzed for HBV-DNA characterization and HDV serological and molecular analysis. The HBV prevalence was 0.12 % for HBsAg and 1.68 % for anti-HBc antibodies in Buenos Aires, and 0.73 % and 8.55 %, respectively, in Misiones. Seventy-seven HBsAg-reactive samples were analyzed by polymerase chain reaction for HBV-DNA. Subgenotypes A2, B2, C2, F1b and F4 (Buenos Aires) and F1b and D3 (Misiones) were detected. Several mutations within the major hydrophilic region of HBsAg, the reverse transcriptase, the basal core promoter, and the precore/core were detected. HDV genotype 1 was identified in Buenos Aires. This study confirms the circulation of several HBV subgenotypes, as well as known and newly identified variants, and the presence of HDV1 in this population. A thorough investigation has to be carried out to evaluate the clinical importance of some of the documented mutations as well as those detected in the HDV1 case.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: May 1, 2014
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