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Phylogenetic Analysis of isolates from new cases of HBV infection in Southern Italy.

  • Authors: Ferraro D; Urone N; Pizzillo P; Gussio M; Magliocco S; Cacopardo B; Craxì A; Di Marco V; Di Stefano, R
  • Publication year: 2012
  • Type: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • OA Link:


The level of endemicity of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infections in Italy is low and genotype D infections predominant. New HBV strains may however be introduced as a result of movements of people from regions of high endemicity. The aim of the present study was to determine whether strains from new cases of acute hepatitis B detected in southern Italy were due to endemic or new HBV strains. We studied 34 isolates from patients with acute hepatitis B infection, and 35 from chronic hepatitis B patients. A phylogenetic analysis of preS/S region was done by comparing the sequences from the acute and chronic cases with references sequences. The study showed that 44% of strain from acute hepatitis B patients were of genotype A, 53% of genotype D, and 3% of genotype E. The molecular analysis of isolates from acute hepatitis B patients from Sicily showed a change in the local epidemiology of this infection, with an increase in HBV/A infections and a clustering effect for HBV D2, possibly correlated to immigration. The introduction of new genotypes , could have an effect on HBV-correlated diseases due to the different association between genotype, liver disease and response to antiviral therapy.