Margarita Papatheodoridi1, George V Papatheodoridis2
1University College of London, Institute of Liver and Digestive Health, Royal Free Campus, London, UK.
2Department of Gastroenterology, Medical School of National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, General Hospital of Athens "Laiko", Athens, Greece. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hepatitis D virus (HDV) infection in patients chronically infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) causes the most severe form of chronic viral hepatitis and continues to represent a major health problem. The latest data show that the global prevalence is much higher than previously considered. Therefore, screening with the detection of anti-HDV antibodies is mandatory for all chronic HBV patients. In spite of the severity of liver disease, the only recommended treatment today is pegylated interferon-alpha, which has limited efficacy. Novel host-targeting molecules are now under investigation. The current phase 2 clinical trials include pegylated interferon-lambda, bulevirtide, lonafarnib, and REP-2139. This review focuses on the current status of epidemiology, diagnosis, and treatment of HDV infection.