Evolving Diversity of Hepatitis C Viruses in Yunnan Honghe, China.
ABSTRACT: The Chinese Honghe Autonomous Prefecture (Honghe) in Yunnan Province is a unique ethnic area because it is inhabited by more than ten different minority ethnic groups. Geographically, Honghe directly shares a border with Vietnam. The objective of this study was to investigate genetic diversity and distribution of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV) in Honghe. Ninety nine subjects who were infected with HCV or HCV/HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1) were recruited into this study. HCV genotypes and subtypes were determined based on the sequences of the core/envelope 1 (C/E1) and the nonstructural protein 5B (NS5B) genomic regions. The viral diversity and origins of dissemination were examined by phylogenetic analyses. Three HCV genotypes (1, 3 and 6) with six subtypes (1b, 3b, 3a, 6a, 6n and 6v) were identified. The most predominant form was genotype 3 (54.6%) followed by 6 (34.3%), and 1 (9.1%). The HCV subtype 3b appeared to be the most frequent form (38.4%) followed by 6n (20.2%) and 3a (16.2%). Statistical analyses suggested a possible rise of the genotype 6a in Honghe among intravenous drug users with HCV/HIV co-infections. Further phylogenetic analyses suggested that similar HCV-6a viruses might have been circulating in the Honghe area for more than a decade, which likely originated from Vietnam or vice versa. Two HCV samples with single HCV infection (SC34 and SC45) were isolated that could represent new recombinant variants. Although the genetic prevalence of HCV in Honghe is in general agreement with that of Southwest China and Yunnan Province, the diversity of HCV genotypes and subtypes in Honghe is somewhat unique and evolving. Information presented here should provide useful information for future health surveillance and prevention of HCV infection in this area.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Recently, high proportions (15.6%-98.7%) of intravenous drug users (IDUs) in China were found to be positive for hepatitis C virus (HCV). Yunnan Province is located in southwestern China and borders one of the world's most important opium-producing regions, thus it is an important drug trafficking route to other regions of China. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here, we assessed 100 HCV-positive plasma samples from IDUs who were enrolled through the Kunming Center for Disease Control and Prevention in 2012. HCV C/E1 fragments were PCR-amplified and sequenced. We identified eight HCV subtypes (1a, 1b, 3a, 3b, 6a, 6n, 6u and 6v), of which genotype 6 was most predominant (frequency, 47%) followed by genotypes 3 (41%) and 1 (12%). HCV subtypes 6n (30%) and 3b (29%) were most common and were identified in 59% of the IDUs. We compared HCV genotypes among IDUs in Yunnan Province with those from other regions and found that the distribution patterns of HCV genotypes in Yunnan Province were similar to those in southern China, but different from those in eastern China. However, the distribution patterns of HCV subtypes varied among Yunnan Province and southern China, despite the shared similar genotypes. A comparison of the current data with those previously reported showed that the frequency of HCV genotype 6 increased from 25% to 47% within 5 years, especially subtypes 6a (5% to 15%) and 6n (11.2% to 30%). In contrast, the frequencies of subtypes 3b and 1b decreased by almost 50% within 5 years. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results provided further information to support the assertion that drug trafficking routes influence HCV transmission patterns among IDUs in Yunnan Province. The frequency of HCV genotypes and subtypes changed rapidly among IDUs in Yunnan Province and subtypes 6a and 6n may have originated in Vietnam and Myanmar, respectively.
Project description:The human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) epidemic in China historically stemmed from intravenous drug users (IDUs) in Yunnan. Due to a shared transmission route, hepatitis C virus (HCV)/HIV-1 co-infection is common. Here, we investigated HCV genetic characteristics and baseline drug resistance among HIV-infected IDUs in Yunnan.Blood samples of 432 HIV-1/HCV co-infected IDUs were collected from January to June 2014 in six prefectures of Yunnan Province. Partial E1E2 and NS5B genes were sequenced. Phylogenetic, evolutionary and genotypic drug resistance analyses were performed.Among the 293 specimens successfully genotyped, seven subtypes were identified, including subtypes 3b (37.9%, 111/293), 3a (21.8%, 64/293), 6n (14.0%, 41/293), 1b (10.6%, 31/293), 1a (8.2%, 24/293), 6a (5.1%, 15/293) and 6u (2.4%, 7/293). The distribution of HCV subtypes was mostly related to geographic location. Subtypes 3b, 3a, and 6n were detected in all six prefectures, however, the other four subtypes were detected only in parts of the six prefectures. Phylogeographic analyses indicated that 6n, 1a and 6u originated in the western prefecture (Dehong) and spread eastward and showed genetic relatedness with those detected in Burmese. However, 6a originated in the southeast prefectures (Honghe and Wenshan) bordering Vietnam and was transmitted westward. These subtypes exhibited different evolutionary rates (between 4.35×10-4 and 2.38×10-3 substitutions site-1 year-1) and times of most recent common ancestor (tMRCA, between 1790.3 and 1994.6), suggesting that HCV was multiply introduced into Yunnan. Naturally occurring resistance-associated mutations (C316N, A421V, C445F, I482L, V494A, and V499A) to NS5B polymerase inhibitors were detected in direct-acting antivirals (DAAs)-naïve IDUs.This work reveals the temporal-spatial distribution of HCV subtypes and baseline HCV drug resistance among HIV-infected IDUs in Yunnan. The findings enhance our understanding of the characteristics and evolution of HCV in IDUs and are valuable for developing HCV prevention and management strategies for this population.
Project description:BACKGROUND: HCV transmission is closely associated with drug-trafficking routes in China. However, the transmission route of HCV in Eastern China remains unclear. Here, we investigate the role of Zhenjiang city of Jiangsu province, an important transportation hub linking Shanghai with other regions of China, in HCV transmission. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A total of 141 whole blood samples were collected from injection drug users (IDUs) in Zhenjiang and then tested for HCV infection. Of them, 115 HCV positive plasmas were subjected to RNA extraction, RT-PCR amplification, and sequencing. The subtype characterization and the evolutionary origin of HCV strains circulating in Zhenjiang were determined using polygenetic or phylogeographic analyses. Seven HCV subtypes 1b, 2a, 3a, 3b, 6a, 6e and 6n were detected among Zhenjiang IDUs, showing a complex HCV epidemic. The most predominant subtypes were 3a (38%) and 1b (26.8%). Among these subtypes, subtypes 3b, 6n and 6e originated from Southwestern China (i.e., Yunnan and/or Guangxi), subtypes 2a and 6a from Southern China (i.e., Guangdong), subtype 1b from Central (i.e., Henan) and Northwestern (i.e., Xinjiang) China, and subtype 3a from Southwestern (i.e., Yunnan) and Northwestern (i.e., Xinjiang) China. From Zhenjiang, subtypes 1b and 2a were further spread to Eastern (i.e., Shanghai) and Northern (i.e., Beijing) China, respectively. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The mixing of seven HCV subtypes in Zhenjiang from all quarters of China indicates that as an important middle station, Zhenjiang plays a crucial role in HCV transmission, just as it is important in population migration between other regions of China and Eastern China.
Project description:The aim of this study was to characterize the current molecular epidemiology of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and evaluate the evolutionary patterns of HCV subtypes in Beijing, China, among different subpopulations.The whole blood samples and behavioral data were collected from a total of 10,354 subjects, including drug users (DUs), men who have sex with men (MSM), and the general population, in Beijing from 2010 to 2011. Samples were tested for HCV infection using both enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and real-time PCR. All viremic subjects were then sequenced by nested PCR over core/E1 and NS5B regions. Phylogenetic and phylogeographic analysis was performed by BEAST software.In total, 217 subjects (2.1%) were tested positive for HCV by antibody or vRNA-based testing. HCV prevalence rates for DUs, MSM, and the general population were 26.2%, 0.54%, and 0.37%, respectively. The 156 HCV RNA-positive samples were sequenced. Nine HCV genotypes, including 1a, 1b, 2a, 3a, 3b, 6a, 6n, 6u and 6v, were detected. The most prevalent subtypes were 3b (36.09%), 1b (32.54%), and 3a (16.57%). Bayesian evolutionary analysis estimated that the time of introduction of subtype 1b into Beijing was 2004 (95% CI: 1997.7, 2007.7), with subtypes 3a and 3b being introduced later in 2006. Evolutionary analyses further suggested that subtype 1b from Beijing and Shanghai were closely related, whereas subtype 3a sequences were more similar with sequences from Yunnan, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, and Jiangsu. Subtype 3b sequences were closely related to those from Yunnan, Guangdong, and Hong Kong.Thus, the current HCV epidemic in Beijing is complex, heavily affecting DUs, and involving multiple genotypes that likely spread from different regions in China with its large migrant population.
Project description:Hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype and subtype are related to disease progression and response to antiviral therapy. Current HCV genotype and subtype distribution data, especially for genotypes 3 and 6, are limited in China. Our purpose was to investigate the current HCV genotype and subtype distributions in chronic hepatitis C patients in China.Chronic hepatitis C patients (n?=?1012) were enrolled, and demographic information and possible transmission risk factors were collected. Serum samples were subjected to reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction, followed by direct DNA sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of the NS5B and core/E1 regions to determine HCV genotypes/subtypes. The geographical distributions of HCV genotypes/subtypes were analyzed. Demographic information and transmission risk factors were compared between different HCV genotypes/subtypes.Four genotypes and seven subtypes of HCV were detected in 970 patients. Subtypes 1b, 2a, 3a, 6a, 3b, 6n, and 1a were detected at frequencies of 71.96%, 19.90%, 3.20%, 2.16%, 1.96%, 0.41%, and 0.41%, respectively. Genotypes 3 and 6 showed an increasingly wide geographic distribution over time. Patients with subtypes 1b and 2a were older than those with 3a, 3b, 6a, and 6n subtypes (p?<?0.05 in all subtypes). More genotype 1 and 2 patients underwent blood transfusion than those with genotype 3 (all p?<?0.05). More genotype 3 and 6 patients had a history of intravenous drug use than those with genotypes 1 and 2 (all p?<?0.05).Though subtypes 1b and 2a are still the most prevalent HCV subtypes in China, genotype 3 and 6 HCV infections have already spread nationwide from southern and western China.
Project description:The hepatitis C virus (HCV) exhibits global genotypic diversity. HCV genotyping plays an important role in epidemiological studies and clinical management. Herein, we report the results of HCV genotype and subtype detection in a large number of clinical samples, as performed by an independent laboratory in China. In total, four HCV genotypes and 18 subtypes were identified among 32 030 patients from 29 provinces and municipalities in China. Five dominant subtypes were detected from 98.84% of the samples: 1b (n=16 713, 52.18%), 2a (n=9188, 28.69%), 3b (n=2261, 7.06%), 6a (n=2052, 6.41%) and 3a (n=1479, 4.62%). Twelve rare subtypes were detected, of which four (that is, 6b, 6j, 6q and 6r) are reported for the first time in the Chinese population. Genotypes 4, 5 and 7 were not detected. Mixed infections of the dominant subtypes were found in a small portion of samples (n=65, 0.203%), in the following combinations: 1b-2a, 1b-3b, 1b-6a, 3a-3b, 1b-3a and 2a-6a. No mixed infections with rare subtypes were found. Males, compared with females, showed higher HCV subtype diversity, a lower percentage of HCV1b and 2a and a higher percentage of rare subtypes and mixed infections. Our analyses revealed the comprehensive distribution patterns of HCV genotypes in the general population of mainland China. HCV genotypic patterns were differentially distributed on the basis of geography, sex and age.
Project description:Recently, we studied hepatitis C virus (HCV) sera-prevalence among 559 890 first-time volunteer blood donors in China. From randomly selected 450 anti-HCV positive donors, we detected HCV RNA in 270 donors. In this study, we amplified HCV E1 and/or NS5B sequences from 236 of these donors followed by DNA sequencing and phylogenetic analysis. The results indicate new trends of HCV infection in China. The HCV genotype distribution differed according to the donors' region of origin. Among donors from Guangdong province, we detected subtypes 6a, 1b, 3a, 3b, 2a, and 1a at frequencies of 49.7%, 31.0%, 7.6%, 5.5%, 4.1%, and 2.1%, respectively. Among donors from outside Guangdong, we detected 1b, 2a, 6a, 3b, 3a, 6e, and 6n at frequencies 57.1%, 13.2%, 11.0%, 9.9%, 4.4%, 2.2%, and 2.2%, respectively. Although we found no significant differences among regions in age or gender, subtype 6a was more common (P < 0.001) in donors from Guangdong than those from elsewhere, whilst subtypes 1b (P < 0.02) and 2a (P < 0.001) were more frequent outside Guangdong. Disregarding origins, the male/female ratio was higher for subtype 6a-infected donors (P < 0.05) than for subtype 1b donors, whilst the mean age of subtype 2a donors was 8-10 years older (P < 0.05) than that for all other subtypes. Detailed phylogenetic analysis of our sequence data provides further insight into the transmission of HCV within China, and between China and other countries. The predominance of HCV 6a among blood donors in Guangdong is striking and mandates studies into risk factors for its acquisition.
Project description:More than half of intravenous drug users (IDUs) in China suffer from the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). The virus is also more prevalent in non-injection drug users (NIDUs) than in the general population. However, not much is known about HCV subtype distribution in these populations.Our research team conducted a cross-sectional study in four provinces in China. We sampled 825 IDUs and 244 NIDUs (1162 total), genotyped each DU's virus, and performed a phylogenetic analysis to differentiate HCV subtypes.Nucleic acid testing (NAT) determined that 82% percent (952/1162) of samples were HCV positive; we subtyped 90% (859/952) of these. We found multiple HCV subtypes: 3b (249, 29.0%), 3a (225, 26.2%), 6a (156, 18.2%), 1b (137, 15.9%), 6n (50, 5.9%), 1a (27, 3.1%), and 2a (15, 1.7%). An analysis of subtype distributions adjusted for province found statistically significant differences between HCV subtypes in IDUs and NIDUs.HCV subtypes 3b, 3a, 6a, and 1b were the most common in our study, together accounting for 89% of infections. The subtype distribution differences we found between IDUs and NIDUs suggested that sharing syringes was not the most likely pathway for HCV transmission in NIDUs. However, further studies are needed to elucidate how NIDUs were infected.
Project description:Characterizing hepatitis C virus (HCV) genetic diversity not only allows us to trace its origin and evolutionary history, but also provides valuable insights into diagnosis, prevention and therapy of HCV infection. Although eight HCV genotypes and 86 subtypes have been classified, there are still some HCV variants that need to be assigned. The genotype 6 is the most diverse HCV genotype and mainly prevalent in Southeast Asia. In this study, we identified a new HCV subtype 6xg from injection drug users (IDUs) in Kachin, Myanmar. A distinctive feature of 6xg from other subtypes of the genotype 6 was a Lys insertion in NS5A gene, which changes the RRKR/K motif into RRKKR/K. Bayesian analyses showed that HCV 6xg originated during 1984-1988, and experienced a rapid population expansion during 2005-2009. We characterized HCV subtype profile among IDUs in this region, and detected six HCV subtypes, including 1a (12.0%), 3a (12.0%), 3b (24.0%), 6n (16.0%), 6xa (20.0%), and 6xg (12.0%). Importantly, we found that HCV subtype distribution in Kachin was very similar to that in Dehong prefecture of Yunnan, but very distinct from those in other regions of Myanmar and Yunnan, indicating that the China-Myanmar border region shared a unique HCV subtype pattern. The appearance of 6xg and the unique HCV subtype profile among IDUs in the China-Myanmar border region have significant epidemiological and public health implications.
Project description:HCV transmission is closely associated with drug-trafficking routes in China. Dehong, a prefecture of Yunnan, is the important trade transfer station linking Southeast Asia and China, as well as the drug-trafficking channel linking "Golden triangle" and other regions of China and surrounding countries. In this study, we investigated the HCV genotype diversity among IDUs in Dehong based on 259 HCV positive samples from 118 Chinese and 141 Burmese IDUs. HCV genotypes were determined based on the phylogenies of C/E2 and NS5B genomic sequences. Six HCV subtypes, including 1a, 1b, 3a, 3b, 6n and 6u, were detected. Interestingly, 4 HCV sequences from Burmese IDUs did not cluster with any known HCV subtypes, but formed a well-supported independent clade in the phylogenetic trees of both C/E2 and NS5B, suggesting a potential new HCV subtype circulating in Dehong. Subtype 3b was the predominant subtype, followed by subtypes 6n and 6u. Comparison showed that Dehong had a unique pattern of HCV subtype distribution, obviously different from other regions of China. In particular, HCV subtypes 6u and the potential new HCV subtype had a relatively high prevalence in Dehong, but were rarely detected in other regions of China. There was no significant difference in HCV subtype distribution between Burmese and Chinese IDUs. Few HCV sequences from Burmese and Chinese IDUs clustered together to form transmission clusters. Furthermore, about half of HCV sequences from Burmese IDUs formed small transmission clusters, significantly higher than that from Chinese IDUs (p<0.01). These suggest that the Chinese and Burmese IDUs were relatively isolated from each other in injection drug use behavior and the Burmese IDUs might prefer to inject drugs themselves together. The unique genotype distribution and complex diversity of genotype 6 among IDUs may be associated with the special geographical position of Dehong.