Risk for Hepatitis D superinfection?
Aug 18, 2013
I am an "inactive" Hep B carrier with ALT less than 25 IU and HBV DNA less than 1500 IU. My diagnosis code always says Hepatitis B without mention of "Hepatitis Delta". I asked my doctor about it and learned that HDV was one rare virus which infected Hep B carriers.
My doctor says that HBV carriers must, first and foremost, avoid exposure to HAV, HCV, and HIV, as coinfections with these other virus usually worsens prognosis and requires complicated treatments. He also stressed that coinfection with HDV is even worse, as it drives some 80% of chronically infected patients to end-stage liver diseases within 10 years. And unlike HIV, HCV and HBV, there is no effective treatment for HDV, at least not yet.
How is HDV spread? Thanks
Response from Dr. Taylor
Hepatitis delta may be spread via injection drug use or blood transfusions. In some parts of the world, such as Taiwan, hepatitis D is spread through sexual contact. In the Meditteranean basin (Italy for example), hepatitis D is common and is acquired during childhood and young adulthood, mostly through close contact within families and households where there is less economic advantage and/or poor hygiene. Interferon is the optimal treatment at this time.
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