Beethoven may have been living with hepatitis B

Hi everyone

A very light-hearted post to let you know that the hep B community may be in good standing with other famous people, as new research suggesting that Beethoven (a classical music composer) may also have had been living with hepatitis B.


Very interesting…

The only HBV DNA they could have found would have been integrated HBV DNA. However, seeing this in DNA from hair is quite unexpected.

Maybe we should be doing this exercise on people who currently have HBV infection?

Thanks for posting!

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I found the actual scientific paper: Genomic analyses of hair from Ludwig van Beethoven - ScienceDirect

Although only four HBV-mapping reads were identified, these appeared to represent specific matches and were well distributed along the genome. We therefore performed hybridization capture to enrich libraries for HBV DNA. After sequencing, deduplication, and filtering of low-copy-number reads of HBV-DNA-enriched libraries, 92 unique reads from 20 libraries remained (Data S1I), resulting in a mean HBV genome coverage of 1.26-fold (Figure S7A), with all positive libraries deriving from the Stumpff Lock (STAR Methods).

Not entirely convinced it’s not contamination, it’s not many reads matching HBV…