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Discovery of a highly divergent hepadnavirus in shrews from China.

Nie, Fang-Yuan; Tian, Jun-Hua; Lin, Xian-Dan; Yu, Bin; Xing, Jian-Guang; Cao, Jian-Hai; Holmes, Edward C; Ma, Runlin Z; Zhang, Yong-Zhen.
Virology; 531: 162-170, 2019 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30884426
Limited sampling means that relatively little is known about the diversity and evolutionary history of mammalian members of the Hepadnaviridae (genus Orthohepadnavirus). An important case in point are shrews, the fourth largest group of mammals, but for which there is limited knowledge on the role they play in viral evolution and emergence. Here, we report the discovery of a novel shrew hepadnavirus. The newly discovered virus, denoted shrew hepatitis B virus (SHBV), is divergent to be considered a new species of Orthohepadnavirus. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that these viruses were usually most closely related to TBHBV (tent-making bat hepatitis B virus), known to be able to infect human hepatocytes, and had a similar genome structure, although SHBV fell in a more basal position in the surface protein phylogeny. In sum, these data suggest that shrews are natural hosts for hepadnaviruses and may have played an important role in their long-term evolution.
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