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Molecular epidemiology of hepatitis B and hepatitis delta viruses circulating in the Western Amazon region, North Brazil

Myuki Alfaia Esashika Crispim1, Nelson Abrahim Fraiji1, Sonia Cordeiro Campello1, Nicolaus Albert Schriefer2, Mariane Martins Araújo Stefani3* and Dagmar Kiesslich1

Author Affiliations

1 Hematology and Hemotherapy Foundation from Amazonas”/HEMOAM Research Laboratory, Amazonas Blood Center, Manaus, Brazil

2 Federal University of Bahia, Salvador, Brazil

3 Federal University of Goias, Tropical Pathology and Public Health Institute, Goiânia, Brazil

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2014, 14:94  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-14-94

Published: 21 February 2014



Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis D virus (HDV) represent important public health problems in the Western Amazon region with reported cases of fulminant hepatitis. This cross sectional study describes HBV and HDV genotypes circulating in the Brazilian Amazon region.


HBsAg positive individuals (n = 224) were recruited in Manaus/Amazonas State (130 blood donors from the Hematology and Hemotherapy Foundation from Amazonas/HEMOAM; 60 subjects from outpatient clinic) and in Eirunepe city (n = 34) from 2003–2009. Most participants (n = 153) lived in Manaus, 63 were from 20 remote isolated municipalities, 8 lived outside Amazonas State. Genotyping was based on PCR products: HBV genotype A-F specific primers, restricted length polymorphism for HDV. HDV isolates were directly sequenced (delta antigen 405 nucleotide fragment) and phylogenetic analysis performed (MEGA; neighbor-joining, Kimura’s two parameter).


Most participants were young adult males and HBV mono-infection predominated (70.5%, 158/224). Among blood donors, outpatient subjects and individuals from Eirunepe, HBV/A prevailed followed by HBV/D and F (p > 0.05). HBV/A was more frequent in blood donors (p < 0.05). HBV-HDV coinfection rate was 8.5% in blood donors (11/130), 65.0% (39/60) in outpatient subjects and 47.0% (16/34) in individuals from Eirunepe. Compared to blood donors, coinfection was higher in outpatient subjects (65.0% versus 8.5%; RR = 5.0; CI 3.4-7.9; p < 0.0001) and in subjects from Eirunepe (47.0% versus 8.5%; RR = 5.5; CI 3.0-9.9; p < 0.0001). HBV-HDV coinfection rates were higher in patients from highly endemic remote cities. Only HDV genotype 3 was detected, HBV/F-HDV/3 predominated (20/38; 52.7%), followed by HBV/A-HDV/3 (31.6%; 12/38) and HBV/D-HDV/3 (15.8%; 6/38).


The description of HBV and HDV genotypes circulating in the western Amazon can contribute to a better understanding of their relevance on the regional epidemics. These infections are highly endemic in the Amazon where their control is challenged by its vast territorial dimension with small, hard-to-reach municipalities dispersed into the jungle and populated by diverse ethnic groups.

Hepatitis delta virus; Hepatitis B virus; Genotypes; Molecular epidemiology; Western Amazon; Brazil