Ancient hepatitis B viruses from the Bronze Age to the Medieval period

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article – Annual report year: 2018Researchpeer-review

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  • Author: Mühlemann, Barbara

    University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

  • Author: Jones, Terry C.

    University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

  • Author: Damgaard, Peter De Barros

    Natural History Museum of Denmark, Denmark

  • Author: Allentoft, Morten E.

    Natural History Museum of Denmark, Denmark

  • Author: Shevnina, Irina

    Kostanay State University, Kazakhstan

  • Author: Logvin, Andrey

    Kostanay State University, Kazakhstan

  • Author: Usmanova, Emma

    Buketov Karaganda State University, Kazakhstan

  • Author: Panyushkina, Irina P.

    University of Arizona, United States

  • Author: Boldgiv, Bazartseren

    National University of Mongolia, Mongolia

  • Author: Bazartseren, Tsevel

    Mongolian University of Life Sciences, Mongolia

  • Author: Tashbaeva, Kadicha

    Kyrgyz National Academy of Sciences, Kyrgyzstan

  • Author: Merz, Victor

    S. Toraighyrov Pavlodar State University, Kazakhstan

  • Author: Lau, Nina

    Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology, Germany

  • Author: Smrčka, Václav

    Charles University, Czech Republic

  • Author: Voyakin, Dmitry

    Institute of Archaeology of the Academy of Sciences of Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan

  • Author: Kitov, Egor

    Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Federation

  • Author: Epimakhov, Andrey

    South Ural State University, Russian Federation

  • Author: Pokutta, Dalia

    Stockholm University, Sweden

  • Author: Vicze, Magdolna

    Matrica Museum, Hungary

  • Author: Price, T. Douglas

    University of Gothenburg, Sweden

  • Author: Moiseyev, Vyacheslav

    Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography, Russian Federation

  • Author: Hansen, Anders J.

    Natural History Museum of Denmark, Denmark

  • Author: Orlando, Ludovic

    Natural History Museum of Denmark, Denmark

  • Author: Rasmussen, Simon

    Metagenomics, Department of Bio and Health Informatics, Technical University of Denmark, Kemitorvet, 2800, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark

  • Author: Sikora, Martin

    Natural History Museum of Denmark, Denmark

  • Author: Vinner, Lasse

    Natural History Museum of Denmark, Denmark

  • Author: Osterhaus, Albert D. M. E.

    University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, Germany

  • Author: Smith, Derek J.

    University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

  • Author: Glebe, Dieter

    Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany

  • Author: Fouchier, Ron A M

    Erasmus University Medical Center, Netherlands

  • Author: Drosten, Christian

    Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany

  • Author: Sjögren, Karl-Göran

    University of Gothenburg, Sweden

  • Author: Kristiansen, Kristian

    University of Gothenburg, Sweden

  • Author: Willerslev, Eske

    Natural History Museum of Denmark, Denmark

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Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a major cause of human hepatitis. There is considerable uncertainty about the timescale of its evolution and its association with humans. Here we present 12 full or partial ancient HBV genomes that are between approximately 0.8 and 4.5 thousand years old. The ancient sequences group either within or in a sister relationship with extant human or other ape HBV clades. Generally, the genome properties follow those of modern HBV. The root of the HBV tree is projected to between 8.6 and 20.9 thousand years ago, and we estimate a substitution rate of 8.04 × 10-6-1.51 × 10-5 nucleotide substitutions per site per year. In several cases, the geographical locations of the ancient genotypes do not match present-day distributions. Genotypes that today are typical of Africa and Asia, and a subgenotype from India, are shown to have an early Eurasian presence. The geographical and temporal patterns that we observe in ancient and modern HBV genotypes are compatible with well-documented human migrations during the Bronze and Iron Ages1,2. We provide evidence for the creation of HBV genotype A via recombination, and for a long-term association of modern HBV genotypes with humans, including the discovery of a human genotype that is now extinct. These data expose a complexity of HBV evolution that is not evident when considering modern sequences alone.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNature
Volume557
Issue number7705
Pages (from-to)418-423
ISSN0028-0836
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: No match on DOI

ID: 148262156