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In Silico Analysis of Hepatitis B Virus Occult Associated Mutations in Botswana Using a Novel Algorithm
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Genes 2018, 9(9), 453; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes9090453

Molecular Characterization of Near Full-Length Genomes of Hepatitis B Virus Isolated from Predominantly HIV Infected Individuals in Botswana

1
Botswana Harvard AIDS Institute Partnership, Gaborone, Botswana
2
Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana
3
Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02138, USA
4
Hepatitis Virus Diversity Research Unit (HVDRU), Department of Internal Medicine, School of Clinical Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg 2050, South Africa
5
Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, University of Botswana, Gaborone, Botswana
6
Rutgers Global Health Institute, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA
7
College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45627, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 June 2018 / Revised: 27 August 2018 / Accepted: 3 September 2018 / Published: 7 September 2018
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Abstract

The World Health Organization plans to eliminate hepatitis B and C Infections by 2030. Therefore, there is a need to study and understand hepatitis B virus (HBV) epidemiology and viral evolution further, including evaluating occult (HBsAg-negative) HBV infection (OBI), given that such infections are frequently undiagnosed and rarely treated. We aimed to molecularly characterize HBV genomes from 108 individuals co-infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and chronic hepatitis B (CHB) or OBI identified from previous HIV studies conducted in Botswana from 2009 to 2012. Full-length (3.2 kb) and nearly full-length (~3 kb) genomes were amplified by nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Sequences from OBI participants were compared to sequences from CHB participants and GenBank references to identify OBI-unique mutations. HBV genomes from 50 (25 CHB and 25 OBI) individuals were successfully genotyped. Among OBI participants, subgenotype A1 was identified in 12 (48%), D3 in 12 (48%), and E in 1 (4%). A similar genotype distribution was observed in CHB participants. Whole HBV genome sequences from Botswana, representing OBI and CHB, were compared for the first time. There were 43 OBI-unique mutations, of which 26 were novel. Future studies using larger sample sizes and functional analysis of OBI-unique mutations are warranted. View Full-Text
Keywords: HBV; mutations; occult hepatitis B; chronic hepatitis B; Botswana; Africa HBV; mutations; occult hepatitis B; chronic hepatitis B; Botswana; Africa
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Anderson, M.; Choga, W.T.; Moyo, S.; Bell, T.G.; Mbangiwa, T.; Phinius, B.B.; Bhebhe, L.; Sebunya, T.K.; Lockman, S.; Marlink, R.; Kramvis, A.; Essex, M.; Musonda, R.M.; Blackard, J.T.; Gaseitsiwe, S. Molecular Characterization of Near Full-Length Genomes of Hepatitis B Virus Isolated from Predominantly HIV Infected Individuals in Botswana. Genes 2018, 9, 453.

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