Reconstruction of the origin and dispersal of the worldwide dominant Hepatitis B Virus subgenotype D1

Nídia Sequeira Trovão, Marijn Thijssen, Bram Vrancken, Andrea Clemencia Pineda-Peña, Thomas Mina, Samad Amini-Bavil-Olyaee, Philippe Lemey, Guy Baele, Mahmoud Reza Pourkarim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Hepatitis B is a potentially life-threatening liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). HBV-D1 is the dominant subgenotype in the Mediterranean basin, Eastern Europe, and Asia. However, little is currently known about its evolutionary history and spatio-temporal dynamics. We use Bayesian phylodynamic inference to investigate the temporal history of HBV-D1, for which we calibrate the molecular clock using ancient sequences, and reconstruct the viral global spatial dynamics based, for the first time, on full-length publicly available HBV-D1 genomes from a wide range of sampling dates. We pinpoint the origin of HBV subgenotype D1 before the current era (BCE) in Turkey/Anatolia. The spatial reconstructions reveal global viral transmission with a high degree of mixing. By combining modern-day and ancient sequences, we ensure sufficient temporal signal in HBV-D1 data to enable Bayesian phylodynamic inference using a molecular clock for time calibration. Our results shed light on the worldwide HBV-D1 epidemics and suggest that this originally Middle Eastern virus significantly affects more distant countries, such as those in mainland Europe.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberveac028
JournalVirus Evolution
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Bayesian inference
  • D1
  • HBV
  • MCMC
  • full genome
  • phylodynamics
  • temporal signal

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