Genotyping of hepatitis B virus in Malaysia based on the nucleotide sequence of preS and S genes

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Ong, Hooi Tin, Duraisamy, G, Ng, Kee Peng, Siang, TanWen and Siang, Heng Fong (2005) Genotyping of hepatitis B virus in Malaysia based on the nucleotide sequence of preS and S genes. Microbes and Infection, 7 (3). pp. 494-500. ISSN 1286-4579


Hepatitis B virus (HBV) has been classified into eight genotypes, designated A–H. These genotypes are known to have distinct geographic distributions. The clinical importance of genotype-related differences in the pathogenicity of HBV has been revealed recently. In Malaysia, the current distribution of HBV remains unclear. The aim of this study was to determine the genotypes and subtypes of HBV by using PCR, followed by DNA sequencing, as well as to analyse the mutations in the immunodominant region of preS and S proteins. The S gene sequence was determined from HBV DNA of four apparently healthy blood donors' sera and three sera from asymptomatic chronic hepatitis B carriers. Of this batch of sera, the preS gene sequence was obtained from HBV DNA from three out of the four blood donors and two out of the three chronic carriers. Due to insufficient sera, we had to resort to using sera from another blood donor to make up for the sixth DNA sequence of the preS gene. Based on the comparative analysis of the preS sequences with the reported sequences in the GenBank database, HBV DNA from two normal carriers was classified as genotype C. Genotype B was assigned to HBV from one blood donor and two hepatitis B chronic carriers, whereas HBV of one chronic carrier was of genotype D. Based on the S gene sequences, HBV from three blood donors was of genotype C, that of one blood donor and one chronic carrier was of genotype B, and the remaining, of genotype D. In the five cases where both preS and S gene sequences were determined, the genotypes assigned based on either the preS or S gene sequences were in concordance. The nature of the deduced amino acid (aa) sequences at positions 125, 127, 134, 143, 159, 161 and 168 of the S gene enabled the classification of these sequences into subtypes, namely, adrq+, adw2 and ayw2. The clustering of our DNA sequences into genotype groups corresponded to their respective subtype, that is, adw2 in genotype B, adrq in genotype C and ayw in genotype D. Analysis of the point mutations revealed that five of the sequences contained aa substitutions at immunodominant epitopes involved in B or/and T cell recognition. In conclusion, despite the low numbers of samples studied, due to budget constraints, these data are still worthwhile reporting, as it is important for the control of HBV infections. In addition, the genotype and mutational data obtained in this study may be useful for designing new treatment regimes for HBV patients.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1016/j.micinf.2004.12.016
Official URL
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1108 Medical Microbiology
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Biomedical and Health Sciences
Keywords ResPubID19017; hepatitis B virus, DNA sequencing, genotypes
Citations in Scopus 13 - View on Scopus
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