(Medical Xpress)—A new study has revealed how the spread of hepatitis B coincides with dates of human migration throughout history, starting around 40 000 years ago. The study could provide a framework for studying the ongoing burden and evolution of the hepatitis B virus.
Hepatitis B is a global public health problem: there are approximately 2 billion infected people worldwide and more than 350 million carriers. There are currently several theories about where the infection in humans might have originated from, but until now there was little evidence to support them.
The new study provides evidence to show that HBV has been following the migration patterns of human populations for the past 40 000 years. The team of researchers, from the Universities of Athens, Oxford, Sydney and Cambridge, suggest that the hepatitis B virus (HBV) was infecting us on our journey out of Africa.
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