Diversity of hepatitis G virus within a single infected individual.

Abstract:

The extent of population diversity among GB virus C (GBV-C)/hepatitis G virus (HGV) within a persistently infected individual (Iw) was investigated by sequence analysis of multiple clones generated from polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-amplified products of cDNA analogous to fragments of 5' non-coding region (5'NC), envelope region 1/2 (E1/E2) and non-structural region 3 (NS3) of viral genome. Although nucleotide substitutions were more common in coding regions than in the 5'NC region, there was no region corresponding to the hypervariable region of hepatitis C virus in the E1/E2 region. Transition substitution exceeded transversion by 7 to 12-fold, and 79.4% of substitutions were synonymous. This bias against substitutions producing amino acid replacements and the use of Pfu DNA polymerase with an error rate 10 times lower than the observed frequency of substitution, suggests that most substitutions were not artefactual. This data suggests that individual genomes of HGV within an infected individual may differ from each other at 0.23-0.84% nucleotide position and at 0.42-0.61% amino acid position.

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Pfu

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