Published online Aug 1, 2004. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v10.i15.2218
Revised: October 23, 2003
Accepted: April 15, 2004
Published online: August 1, 2004
AIM: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) genomes in carriers from Hawaii have not been evaluated previously. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the distribution of HBV genotypes and their clinical relevance in Hawaii.
METHODS: Genotyping of HBV among 61 multi-ethnic carriers in Hawaii was performed by genetic methods. Three complete genomes and 61 core promoter/precore regions of HBV were sequenced directly.
RESULTS: HBV genotype distribution among the 61 carriers was 23.0% for genotype A, 14.7% for genotype B and 62.3% for genotype C. Genotypes A, B and C were obtained from the carriers whose ethnicities were Filipino and Caucasian, Southeast Asian, and various Asian and Micronesian, respectively. All cases of genotype B were composed of recombinant strains with genotype C in the precore plus core region named genotype Ba. HBeAg was detected more frequently in genotype C than in genotype B (68.4% vs 33.3%, P < 0.05) and basal core promoter (BCP) mutation (T1762/A1764) was more frequently found in genotype C than in genotype B. Twelve of the 38 genotype C strains possessed C at nucleotide (nt) position 1858 (C -1858). However there was no significant difference in clinical characteristics between C-1858 and T-1858 variants. Based on complete genome sequences, phylogenetic analysis revealed one patient of Micronesian ethnicity as having C-1858 clustered with two isolates from Polynesia with T-1858. In addition, two strains from Asian ethnicities were clustered with known isolates in carriers from Southeast Asia.
CONCLUSION: Genotypes A, B and C are predominant types among multi-ethnic HBV carriers in Hawaii, and distribution of HBV genotypes is dependent on the ethnic background of the carriers in Hawaii.