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HDV GENOTYPES IN THE WESTERN BRAZILIAN AMAZON REGION: A PRELIMINARY REPORT

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  • 1 Gonçalo Moniz Research Center, Salvador, Brazil; INSERM Unit 271, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, IFR 62, Lyon, France; Tropical Medicine Unit, University of Brasilia, Brasilia, Brazil; Government of Acre State-Health Secretariat, Rio Branco, Brazil; Tropical Medicine Center, Porto Velho, Brazil

In Brazil, hepatitis delta virus (HDV) is only reported in Western Amazonia, where severe cases of acute and chronic HDV hepatitis have been described. The study area was chosen in the States of Acre and Rondonia where most cases of hepatitis B virus (HBV)/HDV are reported. From December 2003 to October 2004, 40 HBsAg carriers with anti-HDV IgM were selected. An epidemiologic questionnaire, including demographic and clinical/epidemiologic variables was filled out. HDV amplification and genotyping were performed. Genotype I was detected in 22 patients (55.0%), whereas genotype III was identified in 18 (45.0%). Patients who were infected with genotype I were older (45.1 ± 17.8 years) than patients infected with genotype III (32.8 ± 10.9 years; P = 0.01). No symptoms were reported by 21 (52.5%) patients. Otherwise, 19 (47.5%) had symptoms (fatigue, abdominal pain, weight loss, and decompensated liver disease) that motivated them to seek medical care. Genotype III carriers were more symptomatic, but no statistical significance was achieved. Our preliminary results show that HDV genotypes I and III are present in Brazilian Amazonia and that HDV genotype III is not limited to the Amerindian population.

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