Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research Indan Journal of Medical Research
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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 151  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 375-379

Molecular characterization of hepatitis A virus circulating in Uttar Pradesh, India: A hospital-based study

Department of Microbiology, King George's Medical University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr Amita Jain
Department of Microbiology, King George's Medical University, Lucknow 226 003, Uttar Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijmr.IJMR_429_18

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Background & objectives: Hepatitis A is prevalent worldwide and is among the leading cause of acute viral hepatitis in India. Major geographical differences in endemicity of hepatitis A are closely related to hygienic and sanitary conditions and other indicators of the level of socio-economic development. The present study was aimed to know the seropositivity prevalence and predominant circulating strain of HAV in a north India. Methods: Patients with acute viral hepatitis were enrolled. Blood samples were collected over a period of one year from June 2016 to May 2017. Serum samples were tested for anti-immunoglobulin M (IgM) HAV antibodies. The seropositive samples were analyzed for HAV-RNA by real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Samples detected on molecular assay were subjected to conventional semi-nested RT-PCR for VP1 gene. Further sequencing of amplified RT-PCR products was done, and data were analyzed. Results: A total of 1615 patients were enrolled, and serum samples were collected and tested. The male:female ratio was 1.3:1 with a mean age of 24.31±17.02 yr (range 0-83 yr). Among these, 128 (7.93%) were positive for anti-HAV IgM antibodies; 41.63 per cent of seropositive patients were in their childhood or early adolescent age group. Of all seropositive samples, 59 (46.09%) were positive for HAV RNA. Genotyping sequencing of 10 representative strains was carried out, and the circulating genotype was found to be IIIA. The nucleotide sequences showed homology among the strains. Interpretation & conclusions: Our results showed that hepatitis A was a common disease in children with IIIA as a circulating genotype in this region. In approximately 50 per cent of cases, HAV RNA could be detected. Higher number of HAV IgM-seropositive cases was observed during monsoon period.

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