Epidemiology and genetic characterization of hepatitis A virus genotype IIA

J Clin Microbiol. 2010 Sep;48(9):3306-15. doi: 10.1128/JCM.00667-10. Epub 2010 Jun 30.


Three hepatitis A virus (HAV) genotypes, I, II, and III, divided into subtypes A and B, infect humans. Genotype I is the most frequently reported, while genotype II is hardly ever isolated, and its genetic diversity is unknown. From 2002 to 2007, a French epidemiological survey of HAV identified 6 IIA isolates, mostly from patients who did not travel abroad. The possible African origin of IIA strains was investigated by screening the 2008 mandatory notification records of HAV infection: 171 HAV strains from travelers to West Africa and Morocco were identified. Genotyping was performed by sequencing of the VP1/2A junction in 68 available sera. Entire P1 and 5' untranslated regions of IIA strains were compared to reference sequences of other genotypes. The screening retrieved 5 imported IIA isolates. An additional autochthonous case and 2 more African cases were identified in 2008 and 2009, respectively. A total of 14 IIA isolates (8 African and 6 autochthonous) were analyzed. IIA sequences presented lower nucleotide and amino acid variability than other genotypes. The highest variability was observed in the N-terminal region of VP1, while for other genotypes the highest variability was observed at the VP1/2A junction. Phylogenetic analysis identified 2 clusters, one gathering all African and two autochthonous cases and a second including only autochthonous isolates. In conclusion, most IIA strains isolated in France are imported by travelers returning from West Africa. However, the unexplained contamination mode of autochthonous cases suggests another, still to be discovered geographical origin or a French reservoir to be explored.

MeSH terms

  • 5' Untranslated Regions
  • Adult
  • Cluster Analysis
  • France / epidemiology
  • Genotype
  • Hepatitis A / epidemiology*
  • Hepatitis A / virology*
  • Hepatitis A Virus, Human / classification*
  • Hepatitis A Virus, Human / genetics*
  • Hepatitis A Virus, Human / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Epidemiology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Phylogeny
  • RNA, Viral / genetics
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Sequence Homology
  • Travel
  • Viral Structural Proteins / genetics


  • 5' Untranslated Regions
  • RNA, Viral
  • VP1 protein, hepatitis A virus
  • Viral Structural Proteins

Associated data

  • GENBANK/GU390553
  • GENBANK/GU390554
  • GENBANK/GU390555
  • GENBANK/GU390556
  • GENBANK/GU390557
  • GENBANK/GU390558
  • GENBANK/GU390559
  • GENBANK/GU390560
  • GENBANK/GU390561
  • GENBANK/GU390562
  • GENBANK/GU390563
  • GENBANK/GU390564
  • GENBANK/GU390565
  • GENBANK/GU390566
  • GENBANK/GU390567
  • GENBANK/GU390568
  • GENBANK/GU390569
  • GENBANK/GU390570
  • GENBANK/GU390571
  • GENBANK/GU390572
  • GENBANK/GU390573
  • GENBANK/GU390574
  • GENBANK/GU390575
  • GENBANK/GU390576
  • GENBANK/GU390577