Molecular epidemiology of GB type C virus among individuals exposed to hepatitis C virus in Cameroon

  • Judith N. Torimiro | jtorimiro@yahoo.co.uk Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaounde I; Chantal Biya International Reference Centre (CIRCB), Yaounde, Cameroon.
  • Qing Mao Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, United States.
  • Nathan D. Wolfe Global Viral Forecasting Initiative (GVFI), Cameroon.
  • Ubald Tamoufe Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, United States.
  • Ana Weil Army Health Research Centre (CREMER),Yaounde, Cameroon.
  • Eitel Mpoudi Ngole University of Pittsburgh, United States.
  • Donald S. Burke University of Pittsburgh, United States.
  • Stuart C. Ray Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, United States.
  • Dale Netski Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, United States.

Abstract

GB Virus Type C (GBV-C), a blood-borne flavivirus currently infects about one sixth of the world’s population. Its transmission has been reported through parenteral, sexual and vertical routes. Unusually for RNA viruses, it exhibits a high degree of conservation of the polyprotein sequence. The geographical distribution of GBV-C suggests an African origin and a long-term co-evolution in the human population but without any known pathogenicity. The aim of this study was to describe the different sub-types of this virus in Southern Cameroon. We studied the genetic epidemiology of GBV-C among rural populations where many HIV-1 and HCV genotypes have been identified. Plasma samples of 345 subjects with evidence of HCV exposure were tested for GBV-C infection. To detect GBV-C RNA, reverse transcription followed by a nested PCR of 5’UTR were performed. Direct sequencing and phylogenetic studies using PHYLIP, PAUP* and SimPlot were carried out. In total, 31 GBV-C RNA-positive samples were detected giving a prevalence of 9.0% among HCV-exposed individuals. Phylogenetic analysis of the 5’UTR showed two distinct clusters: Genotype 1 and Genotype 2. Twenty-eight isolates (8.0%) clustered with Genotype 1 and 3 (1.0%) with Genotype 2. More than one genotype of GBV-C is prevalent in Cameroon of which GBV-C Genotype 1 is more common, confirming reports in the literature. Studying the near full-length genome sequences of GBV-C isolates from primates in this region may provide clues of viral recombination, evolution and origin.

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Published
2013-04-02
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Keywords:
GBV-C, flavivirus, Cameroon, phylogeny, genotype
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How to Cite
Torimiro, J. N., Mao, Q., Wolfe, N. D., Tamoufe, U., Weil, A., Mpoudi Ngole, E., Burke, D. S., Ray, S. C., & Netski, D. (2013). Molecular epidemiology of GB type C virus among individuals exposed to hepatitis C virus in Cameroon. Microbiology Research, 4(1), e1. https://doi.org/10.4081/mr.2013.e1