Despite the high endemicity of hepatitis A virus (HAV) in Indonesia, genetic information on those HAV strains is limited. Serum samples obtained from 76 individuals during outbreaks of hepatitis A in Jember (East Java) in 2006 and Tangerang (West Java) in 2007 and those from 82 patients with acute hepatitis in Solo (Central Java), Denpasar on Bali Island, Mataram on Lombok Island, and Makassar on Sulawesi Island in 2003 or 2007 were tested for the presence of HAV RNA by reverse transcription PCR with primers targeting the VP1-2B region (481 nucleotides, primer sequences at both ends excluded). Overall, 34 serum samples had detectable HAV RNA, including at least one viremic sample from each of the six regions. These 34 strains were 96.3-100 % identical to each other and formed a phylogenetic cluster within genotype IA. Six representative HAV isolates from each region shared 98.3-98.9 % identity over the entire genome and constituted a IA sublineage with a bootstrap value of 100 %, consisting of only Indonesian strains. HAV strains recovered from Japanese patients who were presumed to have contracted HAV infection while visiting Indonesia were closest to the Indonesian IA HAV strains obtained in the present study, with a high identity of 99.5-99.7 %, supporting the Indonesian origin of the imported strains. These results indicate that genetic analysis of HAV strains indigenous to HAV-endemic countries, including Indonesia, are useful for tracing infectious sources in imported cases of acute hepatitis A and for defining the epidemiological features of HAV infection in that country.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: May 1, 2014
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