Many viruses have roamed our earth ever since humans were created. They have been affecting each and every one of us throughout our lifespan; getting us different diseases. With some cured and others still being researched, Hepatitis B, which is a very common virus, has been studied further in a recent study; which gave the team an image on why humans a long time ago went and moved to Australia as means to escape the virus.
According to a team of Australian researchers from the Menzies School of Health Research, led by Dr Margaret Littlejohn, a Senior Medical Scientist in the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory at the Doherty Institute believing that hepatitis B was the reason humans moved to Australia, 59,000 years ago.
This study was complimenting an earlier study in 2010 conducted in Characterizing Hepatitis B in Indigenous Australians through Molecular epidemiology (CHARM). It was based on samples of HBV collected from people living in Australia which showed results of strain traces not found on anyone else on the planet. The team used the method of genes tracing to trace the movement of humans to notice on any seen changes in migration.
The study and results were published in the journal of Molecular Biology and Evolution.
Dr. Margaret said, “As we were analyzing the sequences of HBV isolated as part of this study, we noted that the virus sequences had very strong geographical connections to the communities we visited.”