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Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection presents a major global health burden, with the WHO estimating that 170 million chronic carriers are at risk of developing severe clinical outcomes such as cirrhosis and hepatic cellular carcinoma (56, 71).The virus belongs to the single-stranded positive-sense RNA virus family and is characterized by considerable genetic diversity.The date that we obtained considerably predates the discovery of the strain and requires a reevaluation of the circumstances surrounding its origin.
We estimate that 2k/1b originated sometime between 19, substantially before the first detection of the strain in 1999.
The timescale and the geographic spread of 2k/1b suggest that it originated in the former Soviet Union at about the time that the world's first centralized national blood transfusion and storage service was being established.
Evolutionary analysis of viral genomes using methods based on molecular clocks and coalescent theory has previously proved useful in reconstructing the epidemic history of various HCV strains, including subtypes 1a and 1b worldwide (33, 46) and subtype 1b in Japan (66).
Similar analyses of HCV genotype 4 in Egypt have estimated the timescale of the large HCV epidemic in that country and have confirmed its iatrogenic cause (48, 65).
In order to further understand the circumstances by which HCV recombinants might be formed and spread, we estimated the date of the recombination event that generated the 2k/1b strain using a Bayesian phylogenetic approach.
Our study incorporates newly isolated 2k/1b strains from Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and has employed a hierarchical Bayesian framework to combine information from different genomic regions.Since its discovery, CRF01_1b2k has been isolated from patients in many countries, including Ireland, France, Cyprus, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, and Russia (20, 25, 26, 29, 3739).CRF01_1b2k is the only recombinant strain of HCV to have transmitted widely; therefore, it is important to investigate its genesis and dissemination in order to understand why it might be unique and to evaluate the likelihood that other HCV recombinant forms could increase in prevalence in the future.The current distribution of HCV genotypes and subtypes is geographically structured, reflecting differences in the rates and routes of transmission of the various subtypes and genotypes.Epidemic strains, exemplified by subtypes 1a, 1b, and 3a, are characterized by high prevalence, low genetic diversity, and a global distribution and are typically associated with transmission via infected blood products and injecting drug use (IDU) during the 20th century (13, 4446, 54, 57).Interestingly, naturally occurring intergenotypic HCV recombinants have more often than not involved genotype 2 in the 5′ genome region (19, 20, 28, 29, 42).Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating