Open Access

Molecular Epidemiology of Hepatitis B Virus in Turkish Cypriot


There is an increased demand for molecular and epidemiological information regarding Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) infection as the disease severity depends on these specifications. We have aimed to analyze nucleos(t)ide analogues (NA) resistance and typical HBsAg escape mutations with the dispersion of HBV genotype/subgenotype/HBsAg serotypes on overlapping pol/S gene regions in the Turkish population. Samples were collected in Northern Cyprus. Reverse transcriptase (rt) region between 80–250 amino acids were amplified. Typical HBsAg escape mutations were determined as HBIg escape (6.48%), vaccine escape (8.34%), HBsAg misdiagnosis (9.25%), and immune escape mutations (8.34%). NAs resistances were determined as primary (2.78%), partial (2.78%), and compensatory mutations (26.85%) in overlapping pol/S gene region. The study patients were predominantly infected with HBV genotype D/D1 (98%). However, the predominant HBsAg serotype was ayw2 (99%). The most common NA resistance mutation was rtQ215H/P/S (16.67%), however, for S gene the misdiagnosis mutations were observed most frequently (9.25%). We can conclude that HBV D/D1 is the dominant strain and ayw2 is the dominant serotype in the Turkish Cypriot. Cyprus is an island located in the Eastern Mediterranean region, and it is, therefore, a key location for human trafficking and immigration; as a result of this reputation, it is necessary to analyze HBV phylogenetically for local dynamics, and our results indicate that treatment naïve population is prone to these pol/S gene mutations. However, if HBV strains were also analyzed among Greek Cypriots too, this would enable a complete island survey. With this work, we believe that we have enlightened this subject for further research.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, Microbiology and Virology