Identification and characterization of genotype A and D recombinant hepatitis B virus from Indian chronic HBV isolates.
ABSTRACT: AIM:To confirm the presence of recombination, full-length hepatitis B virus (HBV) from chronic patients was sequenced and analyzed. METHODS:Full-length HBV genomes from 12 patients were amplified and sequenced in an automated sequencer. Phylogenetic analysis was carried out on full-length, Core and preS2/Surface regions using MEGA software. SimPlot Boot Scanning and amino acid sequence analysis were performed for confirmation of recombination. RESULTS:Eight patients were infected with genotype D strain; one patient with genotype A and three patients had genotype A and D recombination; two of them had cirrhosis and one had hepatocellular carcinoma. Phylogenetic analysis of core and preS2/surface regions separately showed evidence of genotype A and D recombination. The breakpoints of recombination were found to be at the start of preS2 and at the end of surface coding regions. CONCLUSION:We identified and characterized recombinant A and D genotype HBV in hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive patients.
Project description:HBV genotypes differ in pathogenicity. In addition, genotype-specific differences in the regulation of transcription and virus replication exist in HBV, but the underlying mechanisms are unknown. Here, we show the presence of a G-quadruplex motif in the promoter of the preS2/S gene; this G-quadruplex is highly conserved only in HBV genotype B but not in other HBV genotypes. We demonstrate that this G-quadruplex motif forms a hybrid intramolecular G-quadruplex structure. Interestingly, mutations disrupting the G-quadruplex in HBV genotype B reduced the preS2/S promoter activity, leading to reduced hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) levels. G-quadruplex ligands stabilized the G-quadruplex in genotype B and enhanced the preS2/S promoter activity. Furthermore, mutations disrupting the G-quadruplex in the full-length HBV genotype B constructs were associated with impaired virion secretion. In contrast to typical G-quadruplexes within promoters which are negative regulators of transcription the G-quadruplex in the preS2/S promoter of HBV represents an unconventional positive regulatory element. Our findings highlight (a) G-quadruplex mediated enhancement of transcription and virion secretion in HBV and (b) a yet unknown role for DNA secondary structures in complex genotype-specific regulatory mechanisms in virus genomes.
Project description:Molecular characteristics of hepatitis B virus (HBV), such as genotype and genomic mutations, may contribute to liver-related morbidity and mortality. The association of these characteristics with liver fibrosis severity in sub-Saharan Africa is uncertain. We aimed to characterise molecular HBV features in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/HBV co-infected Nigerians and evaluate associations between these characteristics and liver fibrosis severity before and after antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation.HIV/HBV co-infected Nigerians underwent liver fibrosis estimation by transient elastography (TE) prior to and 36 months after ART initiation. Basal core promoter/precore (BCP/PC) and preS1/preS2/S regions of HBV were sequenced from baseline plasma samples. We evaluated associations between HBV mutations and liver fibrosis severity by univariate and multivariable regression.At baseline, 94 patients underwent TE with median liver stiffness of 6.4 (IQR 4.7-8.7) kPa. Patients were predominantly infected with HBV genotype E (45/46) and HBe-antigen negative (75/94, 79.8%). We identified BCP A1762T/G1764A in 15/35 (43%), PC G1896A in 20/35 (57%), 'a' determinant mutations in 12/45 (26.7%) and preS2 deletions in 6/16 (37.5%). PreS2 mutations were associated with advanced fibrosis in multivariable analysis. At follow-up, median liver stiffness was 5.2 (IQR 4.1-6.6) kPa. No HBV molecular characteristics were associated with lack of fibrosis regression, although HIV virologic control, body mass index (BMI) and baseline CD4+ T-cell count were associated with a decline in fibrosis stage.Frequent BCP/PC and preS1/preS2/S mutations were found in ART-naïve HIV/HBV co-infected Nigerians. Median liver stiffness declined after initiation of ART, regardless of pre-ART HBV mutational pattern or virologic characteristics.
Project description:To molecularly characterize hepatitis B virus (HBV) isolates from Kerala and to relate them to the clinical manifestation of infection.Sera and clinical data were collected from 91 patients diagnosed with chronic HBV infection and HBV-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). HBV from 44 HCC, 22 cirrhotic and 25 chronic hepatitis patients were genotyped by sequencing of the complete S region or by restriction fragment length polymorphism assays. The basic core promoter/precore region was sequenced. The complete surface DNA sequences were assembled and aligned manually, and then compared with the sequences of HBV of genotypes (A-J) from GenBank. The evolutionary history was inferred using the Neighbor-Joining method and the evolutionary distances computed using the Kimura 2-parameter method. Bootstrapping was performed using 1000 replicates. The TaqMan BS-1 probe was used to quantify HBV DNA at a lower detection limit of approximately 20 IU/mL. Continuous variables were compared using an independent Student's t test. The ?² test or Fisher's exact test was used to compare categorical variables. The differences were considered statistically significant at P < 0.05.Irrespective of disease status, the predominant genotype was A (72%); 95% belonging to subgenotype A1, followed by genotypes D (27%) and C (1%). HCC patients infected with subgenotype A1 were significantly younger than those infected with D. Mutation A1762T/G1764A was significantly associated with HCC in both genotypes A and D. Mutation G1862T was more frequent in subgenotype A1 (P < 0.0001), and in combination with A1762T/G1764A, it was significantly associated with HBV from HCC patients. Mutation C1766T/T1768A was significantly associated with genotype A (P = 0.05) and HCC (P = 0.03). The preS2 start codon M1T/I mutation was unique to genotype A strains (15.6%) from all disease groups and occurred at a higher frequency in isolates from HCC patients (P = 0.076). A higher frequency of preS deletion mutants (33.3%) was observed in genotype A from HCC compared with non-HCC patients, but did not reach statistical significance. The preS2:F22L mutation was found in genotypes A and D.Kerala is the first Indian state in which subgenotype A1 has been found to predominate in liver disease patients who developed HCC at a relatively young age.
Project description:We characterized occult HBV (OHBV) from hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-negative chronic HCV carriers of Eastern India to explore the impact of genomic variability of HBV in causing undetectability of HBsAg and low viremia that define the occult phenomenon. Screening of sera samples revealed the presence of OHBV in 17.8% of HCV-infected patients. Determination of full-length OHBV sequences and comparison with that from HBsAg-positive carriers led to the detection of distinct substitutions/mutations in PreS2, S, P and X ORFs and in X-promoter and Enhancer-II of OHBV. These mutations were introduced in wild-type HBV and their effects were evaluated by transfection in Huh7 cells. In vitro assays demonstrated that S-substitutions resulted in antigenically modified HBsAg that escaped detection by immunoassays whereas those in ORF-P caused significant decline in viral replication. Impairment in Enhancer-II and X-promoter activities were noted due to occult-associated mutations that generated reduced pregenomic RNA and intracellular HBV-DNA. Additionally, Enhancer-II mutations altered the small to large surface protein ratio and diminished extracellular HBV-DNA and HBsAg secretion. Further, mutations in PreS2, X and enhancer-II increased Grp78-promoter activity, suggesting that OHBV could trigger endoplasmic reticulum stress. Thus viral mutations contribute synergistically towards the genesis of occult phenotype and disease progression.
Project description:HIV infection has a significant impact on the natural progression of hepatitis B virus (HBV) related liver disease. In HIV-HBV co-infected patients, little is known about mutations in the HBV genome, which can influence severity of liver disease. The aim of this study was to characterize and to determine the frequency of known clinically significant mutations in the HBV genomes from HIV-HBV co-infected patients and from HBV mono-infected patients. To accomplish this, genomic length HBV sequencing was performed in highly-active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART)-naïve HIV-HBV co-infected patients (n=74) and in anti-HBV therapy-naïve HBV mono-infected patients (n=55). The frequency of HBV mutations differed between the co-infected and mono-infected patients when comparing patients with the same genotype. BCP mutations A1762T and G1764A were significantly more frequent in HBV genotype C mono-infection and the -1G frameshift was significantly more frequent in co-infection and was only observed in HBV genotype A co-infection. PreS2 deletions were observed more frequently in the setting of co-infection. Further work is needed to determine if these mutational patterns influence the differences in liver disease progression in HIV-HBV co-infected and HBV mono-infected patients.
Project description:Molecular mechanisms related to occult hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, particularly those based on genotype C infection, have rarely been determined thus far in the ongoing efforts to determine infection mechanisms. Therefore, we aim to elucidate the mutation patterns in the surface open reading frame (S ORF) underlying occult infections of HBV genotype C in the present study. Nested PCRs were applied to 624 HBV surface antigen (HBsAg) negative Korean subjects. Cloning and sequencing of the S ORF gene was applied to 41 occult cases and 40 control chronic carriers. Forty-one (6.6%) of the 624 Korean adults with HBsAg-negative serostatus were found to be positive for DNA according to nested PCR tests. Mutation frequencies in the three regions labeled here as preS1, preS2, and S were significantly higher in the occult subjects compared to the carriers in all cases. A total of two types of deletions, preS1 deletions in the start codon and preS2 deletions as well as nine types of point mutations were significantly implicated in the occult infection cases. Mutations within the "a" determinant region in HBsAg were found more frequently in the occult subjects than in the carriers. Mutations leading to premature termination of S ORF were found in 16 occult subjects (39.0%) but only in one subject from among the carriers (2.5%). In conclusion, our data suggest that preS deletions, the premature termination of S ORF, and "a" determinant mutations are associated with occult infections of HBV genotype C among a HBsAg-negative population. The novel mutation patterns related to occult infection introduced in the present study can help to broaden our understanding of HBV occult infections.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Hepatitis B virus (HBV), because of its error-prone viral polymerase, has a high mutation rate leading to widespread substitutions, deletions, and insertions in the HBV genome. Deletions may significantly change viral biological features complicating the progression of liver diseases. However, the clinical conditions correlating to the accumulation of deleted mutants remain unclear. In this study, we explored HBV deletion patterns and their association with disease status and antiviral treatment by performing whole genome sequencing on samples from 51 hepatitis B patients and by monitoring changes in deletion variants during treatment. Clone sequencing was used to analyze preS regions in another cohort of 52 patients.<h4>Results</h4>Among the core, preS, and basic core promoter (BCP) deletion hotspots, we identified preS to have the highest frequency and the most complex deletion pattern using whole genome sequencing. Further clone sequencing analysis on preS identified 70 deletions which were classified into 4 types, the most common being preS2. Also, in contrast to the core and BCP regions, most preS deletions were in-frame. Most deletions interrupted viral surface epitopes, and are possibly involved in evading immuno-surveillance. Among various clinical factors examined, logistic regression showed that antiviral medication affected the accumulation of deletion mutants (OR?=?6.81, 95% CI?=?1.296?~?35.817, P?=?0.023). In chronic carriers of the virus, and individuals with chronic hepatitis, the deletion rate was significantly higher in the antiviral treatment group (Fisher exact test, P?=?0.007). Particularly, preS2 deletions were associated with the usage of nucleos(t)ide analog therapy (Fisher exact test, P?=?0.023). Dynamic increases in preS1 or preS2 deletions were also observed in quasispecies from samples taken from patients before and after three months of ADV therapy. In vitro experiments demonstrated that preS2 deletions alone were not responsible for antiviral resistance, implying the coordination between wild type and mutant strains during viral survival and disease development.<h4>Conclusions</h4>We present the HBV deletion distribution patterns and preS deletion substructures in viral genomes that are prevalent in northern China. The accumulation of preS deletion mutants during nucleos(t)ide analog therapy may be due to viral escape from host immuno-surveillance.
Project description:Background & Aims:Although HBV is a major cause of death in Africa, its genetic variability has been poorly documented. This study aimed to address whether HBV genotype and surface gene variants are associated with HBV-related liver disease in The Gambia. Methods:We conducted a case-control study nested in the Prevention of Liver Fibrosis and Cancer in Africa programme. Consecutive treatment-naive patients with chronic HBV infection and detectable viral load were recruited: 211 controls with no significant liver disease and 91 cases (56 cirrhosis and 35 HCC cases). HBV genotypes and surface gene variants were determined by Sanger sequencing or next-generation sequencing (NGS) in serum DNA. Aflatoxin B1 (AFB1)-specific codon 249 TP53 mutation was determined by NGS in circulating cell-free plasma DNA. Results:In phylogenetic analysis, 85% of individuals carried HBV genotype E, 14% genotype A, and 1% A/E recombinant viruses. Surface gene variants were more frequently observed in cases (43% and 57% in cirrhosis and HCC cases, respectively) than controls (25%; p <0.001), with preS2 deletions between nucleotides 38-55 (preS2?38-55) being the main genetic variant detected. In multivariable analysis, HBeAg seropositivity, low HBsAg levels, and HDV seropositivity were significantly associated with cirrhosis and HCC, whilst older age, higher viral load, genotype A, preS2?38-55, and AFB1 exposure were only associated with HCC. There was a multiplicative joint effect of preS2?38-55 variants with HBeAg seropositivity (odds ratio [OR] 43.1 [10.4-177.7]), high viral load >2,000 IU/ml (OR 22.7 [8.0-64.9]), HBsAg levels <10,000 IU/ml (OR 19.0 [5.5-65.3]), and AFB1 exposure (OR 29.3 [3.7-230.4]) on HCC risk. Conclusions:This study identified a hotspot for HBV preS2 deletions as a strong independent factor for HCC in The Gambia, with HBV genotypes and AFB1 exposure contributing to the high liver cancer risk. Lay summary:Although HBV-related liver disease is highly prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa, the associated virological characteristics are poorly studied. Using clinical data from African patients chronically infected with HBV, an assessment of the virological variability (genotypes and mutations) and exposure to AFB1, a toxin often contaminating food, was carried out. Our results show that HBV genotypes, the presence of a highly prevalent mutant form of HBV, and AFB1 exposure contribute to the high liver cancer risk in this population.
Project description:Globally, there are approximately 240 million people chronically infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV)-a major cause of hepatocellular carcinoma. Ten different HBV genotypes (A-J) have been identified with distinct geographic distributions. Novel variants generated by recombination between different HBV genotypes have been documented worldwide and represent an important element of genetic variability with possible clinical implications. Here, the complete genome sequence of an HBV genotype D/E recombinant from Ghana is reported. The full-length sequence was obtained using rolling circle amplification followed by PCR and sequenced using next-generation sequencing (NGS). A consensus sequence was extracted from the NGS data and underwent phylogenetic analysis to determine genotype, as well as the recombination pattern. Subsequently, the sequence was compared to recombinants described previously in Africa. Based on MCMC phylogenetic analysis, SimPlot recombination analyses, and intragroup genetic distance, the isolate 007N full-length genome is unique compared to other reported D/E recombinants in Africa.
Project description:Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection results in different clinical presentation due to different levels of immune response. Our study aimed to characterize HBV full-length genome quasispecies (QS) in patients with different phases of infection to better understand its pathogenesis. Forty treatment-naive HBV-infected patients were enrolled, including 10 cases of acute hepatitis B (AHB), 9 cases of immunotolerant (IT) HBV carriers, 11 cases of chronic hepatitis B (CHB), and 10 cases of acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF). The present study was conducted by clone-based sequencing. QS heterogeneity within each open reading frame was calculated. The mutation frequency index (MFI) and amino acid variations within the large HBsAg, HBcAg, and HBxAg regions were analyzed based on the different infection phases. In total, 606 HBV full-length sequences were obtained. HBV QS had higher heterogeneity in ACLF and CHB than that in IT among chronically infected individuals. AHB patients had the lower QS heterogeneity at onset than those with chronic infection. ACLF patients had the highest frequency of mutations in the core promoter and precore region. A triple mutation (A1762T/G1764A/G1896A) was observed more frequently in genotype C than in genotype B. The MFI indicated that specific peptides of the studied regions had more frequent mutations in ACLF. Furthermore, several amino acid variations, known as T- and B-cell epitopes, were potentially associated with the immunoactive phase of infection. More HBV genome mutations and deletions were observed in patients with more severe diseases, particularly in specific regions of the core and preS regions, the clinical significance and mechanism of which need to be further investigated.