Phylogenetic analysis was performed on hepatitis B virus (HBV) strains obtained from 86 hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) positive donors from Thailand originating throughout the country. Based on the S gene, 87.5% of strains were of genotype C while 10.5% were of genotype B, with all genotype B strains obtained from patients originating from the central or the south Thailand. No genotype B strains were found in the north of Thailand. Surprisingly, one patient was infected with a genotype H strain while another patient was infected with a genotype G strain. Complete genome sequencing and recombination analysis identified the latter as being a genotype G and C2 recombinant with the breakpoint around nucleotide position 700. The origin of the genotype G fragment was not identifiable while the genotype C2 fragment most likely came from strains circulating in Laos or Malaysia. The performance of different HBsAg diagnostic kits and HBV nucleic acid amplification technology (NAT) was evaluated. The genotype H and G/C2 recombination did not interfere with HBV detection.
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