Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is divided into nine genotypes, A to I. Currently, it remains unclear how the individual genotypes contribute to the estimated 250 million chronic HBV infections. We performed a literature search on HBV genotyping data throughout the world. Over 900 publications were assessed and data were extracted from 213 records covering 125 countries. Using previously published HBV prevalence, and population data, we approximated the number of infections with each HBV genotype per country and the genotype distribution among global chronic HBV infections. We estimated that 96% of chronic HBV infections worldwide are caused by five of the nine genotypes: genotype C is most common (26%), followed by genotype D (22%), E (18%), A (17%) and B (14%). Genotypes F to I together cause less than 2% of global chronic HBV infections. Our work provides an up-to-date analysis of global HBV genotyping data and an initial approach to estimate how genotypes contribute to the global burden of chronic HBV infection. Results highlight the need to provide HBV cell culture and animal models that cover at least genotypes A to E and represent the vast majority of global HBV infections to test novel treatment strategies.
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