Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is spread worldwide. Seven genotypes, A-G, have been described, differing by more than 8% of the genome. In eastern Asia and Oceania genotypes B and C are predominant. However, little is known about genotypes in Mongolia and Australian aborigines. We analysed the preS and S regions of HBV from 9 Mongols and 5 Australian Aborigines. All Mongolian strains were of genotype D and were most similar to Central Asian sequences. All the Australian strains were genetically of serotype ayw3, and could not be reliably classified by the S region analysis, but placed on a separate branch. By preS analysis, they were however clearly of genotype C. The 6–7% nucleotide difference from published Asian genotype C sequences suggests that they diverged from Asian genotype C branch more than 1000 years ago.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 1, 2001
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