Pattern and molecular epidemiology of Hepatitis B virus genotypes circulating in Pakistan.

Research paper by Zunaira Z Awan, Muhammad M Idrees, Irum I Amin, Sadia S Butt, Samia S Afzal, Haji H Akbar, Irshad-ur IU Rehman, Saima S Younas, Muhammad M Shahid, Amreek A Lal, Sana S Saleem, Bisma B Rauff

Indexed on: 24 Aug '10Published on: 24 Aug '10Published in: Infection, Genetics and Evolution


The continuously mutating nature of Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is responsible for the emergence of varying genotypes in different regions of the world affecting the disease outcome. The objective of the current study was to find out the pattern of HBV genotypes circulating in Pakistan. HBV genotypes were determined in HBV chronic patients of different age and gender from all the four different geographical regions (provinces) of Pakistan for a period of 2 years (2007-2009). Out of the total 3137 consecutive patients, 300 (175; 58.3% males and 125; 41.7% females) were randomly selected for HBV genotype A through H determination using molecular genotyping methods. Total 269 (89.6%) isolates were successfully genotyped where as 31 (10.3%) samples failed to generate a type-specific PCR band and were found untypable. Out of the successfully genotyped samples, 43 (14.3%) were with type A, 54 (18%) were with type B, 83 (27.6%) were with type C, 39 (13%) were with type D, 2 (0.6%) were with type E, 4 (1.3%) were with genotype F and total 44 (14.6%) were with mixed HBV infections. Of the mixed genotype infection cases, 16 were with genotypes A/D, 9 were B/C, six were A/D/F, five were with genotypes A/F, two were with A/B/D and B/E and one each for A/C as well as A/E genotypes. Four common genotypes of HBV found worldwide (A, B, C & D) were isolated from Pakistan along with uncommon genotypes E and F for the first time in Pakistan. Overall Genotype C is the most prevalent genotype. Genotypes B and C are predominant in Punjab & Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, respectively whereas genotype A in Sindh.