University of Kocaeli, Faculty of Medicine, Clinical Laboratory, PCR Unit, Kocaeli, Turkey.
Introduction. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in hemodialysis (HD) patients is a major concern, but limited information exists on the HBV genotyping in patients on maintenance HD in Turkey. Aim. To investigate the genotype and subgenotype distribution of HBV in Turkish HD patients with chronic hepatitis B. Material and methods. A total of 248 HBsAg positive patients undergoing long-term HD from all regions of Turkey were included in this study. HBV genotypes were determined by phylogenetic analysis and by genotyping tools. Results. HBV DNA was detected in 94/248 (38%) of the patients. Among the study patients, genotype D of HBV was predominant (99%) and one patient (1%) was infected with genotype G. The majority (82%) of HBV genotype D branched into subgenotype D1, and also in ayw2 HBsAg subtype clusters in the phylogenetic tree. However, 10% and 8% of the strains branched into subgenotype D2 (also in ayw3 HBsAg subtype cluster) and subgenotype D3 clusters, respectively. Conclusion. In conclusion, HBV genotyping should be routinely applied to HD patients to establish a baseline. Determination of genotypes/subgenotypes of HBV may provide robust epidemiological data related to their circulation as well as their transmissibility.