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Human JCV Infections as a Bio-Anthropological Marker of the Formation of Brazilian Amazonian Populations
  • Published Date:
    Oct 12 2012
  • Source:
    PLoS One. 2012; 7(10).
Filetype[PDF-389.47 KB]


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  • Description:
    JC polyomavirus (JCV) is a member of the Polyomaviridae family. It presents a tropism to kidney cells, and the infection occurs in a variety of human population groups of different ethnic background. The present study investigated the prevalence of JCV infection among human populations from the Brazilian Amazon region, and describes the molecular and phylogenetic features of the virus. Urine samples from two urban groups of Belém (healthy subjects), one Brazilian Afro-descendant "quilombo" from the Rio Trombetas region, and native Indians from the Wai-Wai, Urubu-Kaapor, Tembé, Assurini, Arara do Laranjal, Aukre, Parakanã, Surui and Munduruku villages were investigated for the presence of the virus by amplifying VP1 (230 bp) and IG (610 bp) regions using a polymerase chain reaction. Nucleotide sequences (440 nucleotides, nt) from 48 samples were submitted to phylogenetic analysis. The results confirmed the occurrence of types A (subtype EU), B (subtypes Af-2, African and MY, Asiatic) and C (subtype Af-1) among healthy subjects; type B, subtypes Af-2 and MY, among the Afro-Brazilians; and type B, subtype MY, within the Surui Indians. An unexpected result was the detection of another polyomavirus, the BKV, among Afro-descendants. The present study shows, for the first time, the occurrence of JC and BK polyomaviruses infecting humans from the Brazilian Amazon region. The results show a large genetic variability of strains circulating in the region, infecting a large group of individuals. The presence of European, Asiatic and African subtypes associated to the ethnic origin of the population samples investigated herein, highlights the idea that JCV is a fairly good marker for studying the early migration of human populations, reflecting their early and late history. Furthermore, the identification of the specific mutations associated to the virus subtypes, suggests that these mutations have occurred after the entrance of the virus in the Amazon region of Brazil.

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