Background: We have previously reported the identification of divergent hepatitis E virus (HEV) isolated (G9, G20 and 93G) in Guangzhou, a city in southern China. They are now recognised as a new HEV subgenotype in the world. However, the relatedness and significance of these novel isolates in sporadic HEV infection in southern China is still unclear. Objectives: To perform phylogenetic analysis of nucleotide sequences from 41 HEV isolates in southern China from 1994 to 1998. Study design: The partial nucleotide sequence of the HEV isolates were determined and compared with reported sequences in the GenBank. Their relatedness was analysed using computer software. Results: The majority of the HEV isolates, 39 out of 41, were found to belong to the Burmese-like isolates (genotype 1). The other two belonged to the Guangzhou-like isolates. The latter were only found in the samples collected in 1994. They, together with the G9 isolate, form a unique tree located between genotype 1 and genotype 4 (divergent HEV strains from northern China and Taiwan) on the phylogenetic tree. Conclusion: Our results suggest that the Burmese-like isolates are the main causative agents of sporadic HEV infection in southern China. The Guangzhou-like isolates, which appeared transiently in 1994, did not seem to adapt to the environment and have caused no sporadic infection since.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
- Immunology and Allergy
- Infectious Diseases