Hepatitis C virus subtype 3a was introduced in the USSR in the early 1980s

Victor A. Manuylov, Elena V. Chub, Vera S. Kichatova, Natalya V. Soboleva, Olga V. Isaeva, Andrey A. Zamyatnin, Sergey V. Netesov

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A total of 2120 nucleotide sequences of the NS5b region of HCV subtype 3a were analysed, including 310 strains derived from former republics of the USSR (Azerbaijan, Estonia, Lithuania, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan). Among the viral isolates collected from former regions of the Soviet Union, 294 strains formed 3 sustained phylogenetic clusters, with each having a common origin. Phylodynamic analysis demonstrated that the most recent common ancestors of the current strains inside the three clusters were introduced into the USSR population in 1981±1, 1984±2 and 1985±2, respectively (the confidence intervals were calculated using Student’s t-distribution, P<0.05). The time estimation obtained for HCV subtype 3a correlated well with the historical and epidemiological context of this period, and in particular with the start of widespread injection drug use in the USSR in the first half of the 1980s.

Original languageEnglish
Article number000878
Pages (from-to)2079-2087
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of General Virology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • Former USSR
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Subtype 3a


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