PloS one 2018 02 2013(2) e0193177 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0193177
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) prevalence is highest in Sub-Saharan Africa including Ethiopia. HBV genotypes have distinct geographic distributions and play a role in course of infection and treatment management. However, in Ethiopia there is paucity of information about distribution of HBV genotypes. This study was done to determine genotype, mutation and sero-virological profiles of HBV isolates in Southern Ethiopia. Cross-sectional, laboratory based study was conducted on 103HBsAg sero-positive samples from a total of 2,237 screened blood donors. HBV serological markers and biochemical assays were done. Serum viral load was measured using quantitative real-time PCR. Partial HBV S-gene was amplified with nested PCR and sequenced. Bioinformatics tools were utilized to determine genotypes, serotypes and mutations. Of 103 HBsAg reactive serum samples, 14.6% and 70.9% were sero-positive for HBeAg and HBeAb, respectively. Ninety-eight samples gave detectable viral load with a median of 3.46(2.62-4.82) log IU/ml. HBeAg sero-positive donors carried elevated levels of viral load. Eighty five isolates were successfully amplified, sequenced and genotyped into 58 (68.2%) genotype A (HBV/A) and 27 (31.8%) genotype D (HBV/D). HBV serotypes found were adw2 (74.1%), ayw2 (24.7%), and ayw3 (1.2%). In twenty-four (28.2%) samples mutations in the major hydrophilic region (MHR) were observed. Donors infected with HBV/A had higher viral load and more frequent MHR mutation than HBV/D infected donors. This study illustrated distribution of HBV genotype A and D among blood donors in southern Ethiopia. It also demonstrated occurrence HBV variants that may influence clinical aspects of HBV infection. The study contributes in narrowing the existing gap of HBV molecular study in Ethiopia.