Friday January 24, 2020
Home Lead Story Scientists Re...

Scientists Recover Oldest Virus Genome of HBV

For the study, appearing in the journal eLife, the team analysed samples from the teeth of 53 skeletons excavated from Neolithic and medieval sites in Germany.

0
//
Scientists have recovered oldest viral genomes of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and found that the deadly virus has been circulating in Europe for at least 7,000 years.
Virus, Representative Image- Pixabay

Scientists have recovered oldest viral genomes of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and found that the deadly virus has been circulating in Europe for at least 7,000 years.

HBV — one of the most widespread human pathogens — is responsible for the contagious liver disease. Today, it infects approximately 350 million people worldwide and kills more than 600,000 people a year.

However, its origin and evolutionary history remain unclear.

In the study, the researchers not only recovered ancient viral DNA from skeletons but also reconstructed the genomes of three strains of HBV.

While the ancient virus is similar to its modern counterparts, the strains represent a distinct lineage that has likely gone extinct.

It is also more closely related to chimpanzee and gorilla viruses, the findings showed.

“Our results demonstrate that HBV already existed in Europeans 7,000 years ago and that its genomic structure closely resembled that of modern hepatitis B viruses, despite the differences observed,” said lead author Ben Krause-Kyora, from the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and Kiel University.

“More ancient precursors, intermediates and modern strains of both human and non-human primate HBV strains need to be sequenced to disentangle the complex evolution of this virus,” he added.

Scientists have recovered oldest viral genomes of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and found that the deadly virus has been circulating in Europe for at least 7,000 years.
Scientist recover oldest viral genomes of HBV, Pixabay

For the study, appearing in the journal eLife, the team analysed samples from the teeth of 53 skeletons excavated from Neolithic and medieval sites in Germany.

The remains dated from around 5000 BC to 1200 AD. The researchers screened all samples for viral pathogens and detected ancient HBV in three of the individuals.

Full HBV genomes were recovered from these samples, two of which were from the Neolithic period, dating to about 7,000 and 5,000 years ago, and one from the medieval period. The Neolithic genomes represent the by far oldest virus genomes reconstructed to date.

Also Read: Drug Used For Osteoporosis May Help in Reducing Heart Attack Risk 

Interestingly, the ancient virus genomes appear to represent distinct lineages that have no close relatives today and possibly went extinct.

The two Neolithic genomes, although recovered from individuals that lived 2,000 years apart, were relatively similar to each other in comparison with modern strains, and were in fact more closely related to modern strains of HBV found in Chimpanzees and Gorillas.

In contrast, the medieval HBV genome is more similar to modern strains, but still represents a separate lineage, the researchers said. (IANS)

Next Story

Huawei To Unveil Latest Smartphone Device ‘P30 Lite’ in Europe Soon

Details are scarce about the P30 Lite (2020) right now, but it will likely come with some upgrades over the P30 Lite

0
Huawei
The Huawei P30 Lite was a toned down version of the flagship P30 Pro with the same captivating looks and all the bells and whistles, including curves, glossy frame and gradient rear. Wikimedia Commons

Huawei is working to launch P30 Lite (2020) in Europe soon. The smartphone giant had unveiled the original P30 Lite in March this year.

The device is expected to come in Blue and Breathing Crystal colours and is likely to carry a price tag of 349 euros ($390) or around Rs 27,000.

Huawei
Huawei is working to launch P30 Lite (2020) in Europe soon. The smartphone giant had unveiled the original P30 Lite in March this year. (Representational Image). Pixabay

Details are scarce about the P30 Lite (2020) right now, but it will likely come with some upgrades over the P30 Lite which is powered by the Kirin 710 system on chip (SoC) and has a triple camera on the back, GSM Arena reported on Friday.

ALSO READ: Facebook to Stop Using Phone Numbers for Recommending Friends Due to Privacy Concerns

The Huawei P30 Lite was a toned down version of the flagship P30 Pro with the same captivating looks and all the bells and whistles, including curves, glossy frame and gradient rear. (IANS)