Molecular epidemiology of hepatitis A virus in Amsterdam, the Netherlands

S. M. Bruisten*, J. E. Van Steenbergen, A. S. Pijl, H. G.M. Niesters, G. J.J. Van Doornum, R. A. Coutinho

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

51 Citations (Scopus)


The transmission of sporadic community-acquired hepatitis A virus (HAV) among different risk groups in Amsterdam was verified by applying molecular techniques on fecal samples. These were collected in 1997/1998 from 33 persons with HAV infection that was confirmed serologically. From 8 of these persons serial stool samples were collected. Nested RT-PCR targeting the VP3-VP1 and VP1-P2a regions followed by sequence analysis established the duration of fecal HAV RNA excretion in stool and the epidemiological molecular relationships between patients. The samples of 31 patients were RT-PCR positive, of which 24 were positive for both regions. Fecal HAV shedding was found to occur for at least 33 days after onset of disease, which was the longest time span tested. Sequencing showed that the hepatitis A virus subgenotype circulating among persons from Moroccan descent (type IB) was different from the subgenotype circulating among Dutch homosexual men (type IA). If the latter is endemic in the Netherlands, its presence is of importance to the national vaccination strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)88-95
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Epiderniology
  • Feces
  • Hepatitis A virus
  • RT-PCR


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