Hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotypes and subtypes have been identified worldwide. As HBV genotypes/subtypes, the HBV subgenotypes seem to be associated with their geographical distribution and ethnic origin. A previous study showed the novel HBV subgenotype C6 based on the complete genome sequences of isolates in Papua, Indonesia. In the present study, further characterization of HBV in Jayapura (capital of Papua Province), particularly from native people of Papua originating from the highland (highland Papuans) and those from the lowland (lowland Papuans) were examined. Of 32 HBV isolates from both highland and lowland Papuan blood donors with HBsAg positive, part of the S gene and the core gene sequences were analyzed. Analyses of some isolates from highland Papuans were confirmed by the complete genome sequences. Most HBV isolates were classified into genotype C (78.1%), followed by genotype B (18.8%), and genotype D (3.1%). The subtype adr was predominant (71.9%), followed by adw2 (25.1%), and ayw2 (3.1%). As with previous findings, phylogenetic analyses revealed that most HBV isolates from Papuans, C/adr, belonged to subgenotype C6. Interestingly, some C/adr isolates from highland Papuans formed a distinct cluster from all reported subgenotypes of HBV/C, and they differed from HBV/C1-C10 by 4.2-7.2% over the complete genome. SimPlot analysis showed no evidence of recombination with HBV/C1-C10. The isolated life and closed social systems of highland Papuans, even though some have been moving to Jayapura, likely contribute to the formation of this unique cluster of infection with a novel subgenotype of HBV, named C11.
- Hepatitis B virus
- Novel subgenotypes