Molecular Epidemiology of Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) Genotypes and Serotypes in Patients with Chronic HBV Infection in KoreaKim H.a · Jee Y.M.b · Song B.-C.c · Shin J.W.d · Yang S.H.e · Mun H.-S.a · Kim H.-J.a · Oh E.-J.a · Yoon J.-H.f · Kim Y.-J.f · Lee H.-S.f · Hwang E.-S.a · Cha C.-Y.a · Kook Y.-H.a · Kim B.-J.a
aDepartment of Microbiology and Immunology, Liver Research Institute and Cancer Research Institute, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, bDepartment of Enteroviruses, Division of Virology, National Institute of Health, Seoul, cDepartment of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Cheju National University, Jeju, dDepartment of Internal Medicine, University of Ulsan, Ulsan, eDepartment of Internal Medicine, Seoul Veterans Hospital, and fDepartment of Internal Medicine and Liver Research Institute, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea
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Objectives: Although hepatitis B virus (HBV) is endemic to Korea, no large-scale survey of HBV genotypes and serotypes based on sequence analysis has been performed. Methods: In the present study, we genotyped and serotyped HBV strains from 209 patients in two Korean regions, Seoul (107 patients) and Jeju (102 patients), an island off the southeastern Korean coast. Analyses were conducted using the direct sequencing method targeting the partial surface (S) gene (541 bp). Results: Phylogenetic analysis showed that all HBV strains from the 209 patients belonged to genotype C2 (100%). Of the 209 patients, 193 (92.3%), 12 (5.7%) and 1 (0.5%) were found to have the adr, adw and ayr serotypes, respectively. The other three strains (1.5%) showed unique serotype and were not typeable by sequence analysis. No HBV strains characteristic of Jeju island were observed. Conclusions: The extraordinary predominance of genotype C2 in chronic Korean patients, which is known to be associated with more severe liver disease than genotype B, suggests that the clinical manifestations of Korean HBV chronic patients are likely to differ from those found in other Asian countries, especially in Japan and Taiwan, where genotypes B and C coexist.
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