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Open AccessArticle

The First Complete Genome Sequences of Hepatitis C Virus Subtype 2b from Latin America: Molecular Characterization and Phylogeographic Analysis

1
Laboratory of Molecular Virology, Oswaldo Cruz Institute, FIOCRUZ, Rio de Janeiro RJ 21040-360, Brazil
2
Viral Hepatitis Advisory Committee of the Ministry of Health, Brasilia DF 70058-900, Brazil
3
Gaffrée & Guinle Universitary Hospital, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro State, UNIRIO, Rio de Janeiro RJ 20270-901, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2019, 11(11), 1000; https://doi.org/10.3390/v11111000
Received: 16 September 2019 / Revised: 30 September 2019 / Accepted: 10 October 2019 / Published: 31 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Viruses: Surveillance, Prevention, Evolution and Control)
The hepatitis C virus (HCV) has remarkable genetic diversity and exists as eight genotypes (1 to 8) with distinct geographic distributions. No complete genome sequence of HCV subtype 2b (HCV-2b) is available from Latin American countries, and the factors underlying its emergence and spread within the continent remain unknown. The present study was conducted to determine the first full-length genomic sequences of HCV-2b isolates from Latin America and reconstruct the spatial and temporal diversification of this subtype in Brazil. Nearly complete HCV-2b genomes isolated from two Brazilian patients were obtained by direct sequencing of long PCR fragments and analyzed together with reference sequences using the Bayesian coalescent and phylogeographic framework approaches. The two HCV-2b genomes were 9318 nucleotides (nt) in length (nt 37–9354). Interestingly, the long RT-PCR technique was able to detect co-circulation of viral variants that contained an in-frame deletion of 2022 nt encompassing E1, E2, and p7 proteins. Spatiotemporal reconstruction analyses suggest that HCV-2b had a single introduction in Brazil during the early 1980s, displaying an epidemic history characterized by a low and virtually constant population size until the present time. These results coincide with epidemiological data in Brazil and may explain the low national prevalence of this subtype. View Full-Text
Keywords: hepatitis C virus; HCV subtypes; Latin America; RT-PCR; full-length genome; Bayesian framework; phylogeography hepatitis C virus; HCV subtypes; Latin America; RT-PCR; full-length genome; Bayesian framework; phylogeography
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MDPI and ACS Style

Spitz, N.; Barros, J.J.; do Ó, K.M.; Brandão-Mello, C.E.; Araujo, N.M. The First Complete Genome Sequences of Hepatitis C Virus Subtype 2b from Latin America: Molecular Characterization and Phylogeographic Analysis. Viruses 2019, 11, 1000.

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