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Neolithic and medieval virus genomes reveal complex evolution of hepatitis B

Krause-Kyora, Ben and Susat, Julian and Key, Felix M. and Kühnert, Denise and Bosse, Esther and Immel, Alexander and Rinne, Christoph and Kornell, Sabin-Christin and Yepes, Diego and Franzenburg, Sören and Heyne, Henrike O. and Meier, Thomas and Lösch, Sandra and Meller, Harald and Friederich, Susanne and Nicklisch, Nicole and Alt, Kurt W. and Schreiber, Stefan and Tholey, Andreas and Herbig, Alexander and Nebel, Almut and Krause, Johannes. (2018) Neolithic and medieval virus genomes reveal complex evolution of hepatitis B. eLife, 7. e36666.

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Abstract

The hepatitis B virus (HBV) is one of the most widespread human pathogens known today, yet its origin and evolutionary history are still unclear and controversial. Here, we report the analysis of three ancient HBV genomes recovered from human skeletons found at three different archaeological sites in Germany. We reconstructed two Neolithic and one medieval HBV genome by de novo assembly from shotgun DNA sequencing data. Additionally, we observed HBV-specific peptides using paleo-proteomics. Our results demonstrated that HBV has circulated in the European population for at least 7000 years. The Neolithic HBV genomes show a high genomic similarity to each other. In a phylogenetic network, they do not group with any human-associated HBV genome and are most closely related to those infecting African non-human primates. The ancient viruses appear to represent distinct lineages that have no close relatives today and possibly went extinct. Our results reveal the great potential of ancient DNA from human skeletons in order to study the long-time evolution of blood borne viruses.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Integrative Prähistorische und Naturwissenschaftliche Archäologie (IPNA)
UniBasel Contributors:Alt, Kurt W. and Nicklisch, Nicole
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:eLife Sciences Publications
ISSN:2050-084X
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
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Last Modified:18 Jan 2019 16:46
Deposited On:18 Jan 2019 16:46

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