Hepatitis B virus: origin and evolution


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Abstract

Summary.The pathogenesis of hepatitis B virus (HBV) is complex and it appears that molecular variants play a role in this process. HBV undergoes numerous rounds of error prone production within an infected host. The resulting quasispecies are heterogeneous and in the absence of archaeological records of past infection, the evolution of HBV can only be inferred indirectly from its epidemiology and by genetic analysis. This review gathered the controversies about the HBV origin and factors influencing its quasispecies. Also, it provided some evidence on how HBV genotypes correlated with human history and patterns of migration. It is our belief that this topic deserves further attention and thus it is likely that more critical research work will be performed to elucidate the unknown mechanisms and processes in this area.

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