J Bacteriol Virol.  2014 Sep;44(3):252-260. 10.4167/jbv.2014.44.3.252.

Comparative Genotype Analysis of Hepatitis A Virus: Two One-Year Studies in South Korea in 2002 and 2011

  • 1Department of Microbiology, Chung-Ang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. kimwy@cau.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, Chung-Ang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Research Institute of Public Health and Environment, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Department of Internal Medicine, The Catholic University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 5Department of Genetic Engineering and Graduate School of Biotechnology, Kyung Hee University, Suwon, Korea.


Hepatitis A virus (HAV) positive stool samples were collected from acute hepatitis A patients during the two study periods of 2002 and 2011 in Seoul, South Korea, and their genetic variability was determined. From a total of 79 specimens, the nucleotide sequences of the VP1 and 2A junction were successfully amplified in 27 (34.2%) samples and subjected to sequence analysis. Genetically, there was a dramatic change in HAV subgenotypes from IA to IIIA during the past ten years. Sequence analysis identified that most strains belonged to genotype I, which is the main genotype globally. The subgenotype IA (93.3%, n=13/14) was the major subgenotype in 2002, whereas the subgenotype IIIA (69.2%, n=9/13) was predominant in 2011. Interestingly, a IIIA strain was identified from a patient who had a history of travel to India in 2002. The finding presented provides new insight into the genetic shift of circulating HAVs in South Korea.


Hepatitis A virus; Genetic variation; VP1/2A junction

MeSH Terms

Base Sequence
Genetic Variation
Hepatitis A
Hepatitis A virus*
Sequence Analysis
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