Familiar clustering and spreading of hepatitis delta virus infection.

Bonino F, Caporaso N, Dentico P, Marinucci G, Valeri L, Craxi A, Ascione A, Raimondo G, Piccinino F, Rocca G, et al..

J Hepatol. 1985;1(3):221-6. doi: 10.1016/s0168-8278(85)80049-0.

The prevalence of hepatitis delta virus (HDV) infection was significantly higher among the relatives of 79 carriers of HBsAg with antibody to HDV (index cases) than among relatives of 111 carriers without serological evidence of HDV infection (controls). Antibody to HDV was found in 45 of the 80 (56%) carriers of HBsAg in families of index cases but only in 2 of 59 (3%) carriers in families of controls (P less than 0.0001). During follow-up new HDV infection developed in 31% of 13 susceptible carriers in families of index cases, but only in 1.2% of 162 susceptible carriers in families of controls (P less than 0.001). None of the family members previously unexposed to the hepatitis B virus had HDV markers in serum or developed this infection during the follow-up. Familial clustering shows that HDV is transmitted by personal contacts, presumably through the inapparent permucosal or percutaneous passage of virus during close or intimate contact. The family model indicates that endemic HDV is maintained and spread through the network of carriers in the community, and that HBsAg carriers in contact with HBsAg/HDV carriers are at high risk of contracting HDV.

PMID: 4067254

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.