Open Access Research article

Molecular epidemiology of Hepatitis B virus genotypes in Pakistan

Muhammad Masroor Alam1, Sohail Zahoor Zaidi2*, Salman Akbar Malik3, Shahzad Shaukat1, Asif Naeem1, Salmaan Sharif1, Mehar Angez1 and Javed Aslam Butt4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Virology, National Institute of Health, Islamabad, Pakistan

2 Head of Department of Virology, Principal Investigator-WHO Regional Reference Laboratory for Polio Eradication Initiative, National Institute of Health, Islamabad, Pakistan

3 Head of Department of Biochemistry, Quaid-i-azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan

4 Head of Department of Gastroenterology, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Islamabad, Pakistan

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2007, 7:115  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-7-115

Published: 8 October 2007



Eight genotypes of Hepatitis B virus designated A-H, have been known but in Pakistan, no such data is available on the prevalent HBV genotypes. Therefore, the subject study was conducted to determine HBV genotypes in the indigenous Pakistani population.


A total of 690 individuals were enrolled for HBV screening with EIA and nested PCR. Positive samples were further analyzed to determine HBV genotypes (A-F) by multiplex-PCR using type specific primers.


110 (15.94%) individuals were positive for HBV, including 64% males and 36% females. Out of these, 66 samples (65.34%) were classified into genotype D, 27 (26.73%) were of genotype B while 5(4.95%) had genotype A. In 3 (2.98%) samples, multiple genotypes were detected (genotype A+B; 2(1.99%) and genotypes B+D; 1(0.99%). Nine (8.18%) samples remained untyable.


In Asia, genotypes B and C are the most prevalent but our study reveals that genotype D is predominant and HBV infection constitutes a significant health problem in Pakistan.