Genetic analysis of HAV strains isolated from patients with acute hepatitis in Korea, 2005-2006

Haesun Yun, Soyeon Kim, Hyeokjin Lee, Soo Byun Kwan, Young Kwon So, Joon Yim Hyung, Young Suk Lim, Sook Hyang Jeong, Youngmee Jee

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31 Citations (Scopus)


Hepatitis A virus (HAV) is a causative agent of acute viral hepatitis, which represents a significant public health problem. HAV is usually transmitted by oral-fecal route and prevalent not only in developing countries but also in developed countries worldwide. To characterize the HAV wild type strains circulating in Korea, the VP3/VP1 and VP1/P2A junction regions were detected by RT-PCR from HAV IgM positives during 2005 and 2006. Among 160 HAV IgM positive sera, 30% (n = 48) were positive for HAV RNA. Additionally, the VP3/VP1 junction regions were detected all six stools, which collected from outbreak in Gyeonggi province. Phylogenetic analysis of the sequences obtained from 54 distinct HAV isolates revealed that most of the strains (n = 45) belonged to genotype IA and the others including nine strains belonged to genotype IIIA. Interestingly, a Q → S amino acid change was dominantly observed at position 810 of the VP1/P2A junction region in 14 isolates. The molecular epidemiology of HAV infection in Korea has changed with the co-circulation of at least two genotypes and 810Q → S amino acid substitutions were found to be prevalent. These results strongly suggest that various HAV strains, including genotype IIIA, might be imported from high-endemic countries into Korea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)777-784
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2008 May
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute hepatitis A
  • Genetic analysis
  • Genotype
  • Hepatitis A virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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