JCVI: Novel evidence of HBV recombination in family cluster infections in Western china.
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Zhou B, Wang Z, Yang J, Sun J, Li H, Tanaka Y, Mizokami M, Hou J

Novel evidence of HBV recombination in family cluster infections in Western china.

PloS one. 2012 Jun 01; 7: e38241.

External Citation


Two hepatitis B virus (HBV) C/D recombinants were isolated from western China. No direct evidence indicates that these new viruses arose as a result of recombination between genotype C and D or a result of convergence. In this study, we search for evidence of intra-individual recombination in the family cluster cases with co-circulation of genotype C, D and C/D recombinants. We studied 68 individuals from 15 families with HBV infections in 2006, identified individuals with mixed HBV genotype co-infections by restriction fragment length polymorphism and proceeded with cloning and DNA sequencing. Recombination signals were detected by RDP3 software and confirmed by split phylogenetic trees. Families with mixed HBV genotype co-infections were resampled in 2007. Three of 15 families had individuals with different HBV genotype co-infections in 2006. One individual (Y2) had a triple infection of HBV genotype C, D and C/D recombinant in 2006, but only genotype D in 2007. Further clonal analysis of this patient indicated that the C/D recombinant was not identical to previously isolated CD1 or CD2, but many novel recombinants with C2, D1 and CD1 were simultaneously found. All parental strains could recombine with each other to form new recombinant in this patient. This indicates that the detectable mixed infection and recombination have a limited time window. Also, as the recombinant nature of HBV precludes the possibility of a simple phylogenetic taxonomy, a new standard may be required for classifying HBV sequences.