A possible correlation between the host genetic background in the epidemiology of hepatitis B virus in the Amazon region of Brazil.
The Amazon region of Brazil is an area of great interest because of the large distribution of hepatitis B virus in specific Western areas. Seven urban communities and 24 Indian groups were visited in a total of 4,244 persons. Each individual was interviewed in order to obtain demographic and familial information. Whole blood was collected for serology and genetic determinations. Eleven genetic markers and three HBV markers were tested. Among the most relevant results it was possible to show that (i) there was a large variation of previous exposure to HBV in both urban and non-urban groups ranging from 0 to 59.2%; (ii) there was a different pattern of epidemiological distribution of HBV that was present even among a same linguistic Indian group, with mixed patterns of correlation between HBsAg and anti-HBs and (iii) the prevalence of HBV markers (HBsAg and anti-HBs) were significantly higher (P = 0.0001) among the Indian population (18.8%) than the urban groups (12.5%). It is possible that the host genetic background could influence and modulate the replication of the virus in order to generate HB carrier state.
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