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A new group of hepadnaviruses naturally infecting Orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus)

Warren, K.S.ORCID: 0000-0002-9328-2013, Heeney, J.L., Swan, R.A., Heriyanto, and Verschoor, E.J. (1999) A new group of hepadnaviruses naturally infecting Orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus). Journal of Virology, 73 (9). pp. 7860-7865.

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A high prevalence (42.6%) of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection was suspected in 195 formerly captive orangutans due to a large number of serum samples which cross-reacted with human HBV antigens. It was assumed that such viral infections were contracted from humans during captivity. However, two wild orangutans were identified which were HBV surface antigen positive, indicating that HBV or related viruses may be occurring naturally in the orangutan populations. Sequence analyses of seven isolates revealed that orangutans were infected with hepadnaviruses but that these were clearly divergent from the six known human HBV genotypes and those of other nonhuman hepadnaviruses reported. Phylogenetic analyses revealed geographic clustering with Southeast Asian genotype C viruses and gibbon ape HBV. This implies a common origin of infection within this geographic region, with cross-species transmission of hepadnaviruses among hominoids.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
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