Breno Frederico de Carvalho Dominguez Souza, Alexander König, Andrea Rasche, Ianei de Oliveira Carneiro, Nora Stephan, Victor Max Corman, Pia Luise Roppert, Nora Goldmann, Ramona Kepper, Simon Franz Müller, Christof Völker, Alex Junior Souza de Souza, Michele Soares Gomes-Gouvêa, Andrés Moreira-Soto, Andreas Stöcker, Michael Nassal, Carlos Roberto Franke, João Renato Rebello Pinho, Manoel do Carmo Pereira Soares, Joachim Geyer, Philippe Lemey, Christian Drosten, Eduardo Martins Netto, Dieter Glebe, Jan Felix Drexler
The origins of HBV are unclear. The new orthohepadnavirus species from Brazilian capuchin monkeys resembled HBV in elicited infection patterns and could infect human liver cells using the same receptor as HBV. Evolutionary analyses suggested that primate HBV-related viruses might have emerged in African ancestors of New World monkeys millions of years ago. HBV was associated with hominoid primates, including humans and apes, suggesting evolutionary origins of HBV before the formation of modern humans. HBV genotypes found in American natives were divergent from those found in American monkeys, and likely introduced along prehistoric human migration. Our results elucidate the evolutionary origins and dispersal of primate HBV, identify a new orthohepadnavirus reservoir, and enable new perspectives for animal models of hepatitis B.