Hepatitis Delta Virus

  • Author: Mario Rizzetto, MD (More Info)
  • Editor In Chief: Stefan Zeuzem, MD
  • Last Reviewed: 6/1/18 (What's New)

Introduction

  • HDV is a unique human pathogen dependent for infection on the hepatitis B virus
    • Patients coinfected with HDV and HBV experience more severe liver disease, more rapid progression to cirrhosis, and are more likely to experience hepatic decompensation and death vs patients infected with HBV alone
  • The exact mechanism by which HDV causes these consequences is not yet fully understood, and treatment options for patients with HDV infection are limited

Hepatitis D is caused by the hepatitis D virus (HDV), a unique human pathogen dependent for infection on the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Although the clinical expression of HDV infection is varied, studies show that patients coinfected with HDV and HBV have more severe liver disease, progress more rapidly to cirrhosis, and are more likely to experience hepatic decompensation and death vs patients infected with HBV alone. Although significant advances have been made in understanding this virus in the last 30 years since it was discovered, the exact mechanism by which it causes these severe consequences remains to be elucidated. In addition, the treatment of patients with HDV remains a challenge, with limited treatment options and low efficacy.

Virology

Keywords: Hepatitis D