Department of Laboratory Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China.
Department of Pathology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China.
Department of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing, China.
Department of Internal Medicine, Mercer University School of Medicine, Macon, Georgia, USA.
# Contributed equally
Hepatitis D virus (HDV) is a defective virus that completes its life cycle only with hepatitis B virus (HBV). The HBV with HDV super-infection has been considered as one of the most severe forms of the chronic viral hepatitis. However, there is a scarcity of data on the global burden of HDV infection.
We searched PubMed, Embase, Cochrane Library and China Knowledge Resource Integrated databases from 1 January 1977 to 31 December 2016. We included studies with a minimum sample size of 50 patients. Our study analysed data from a total of 40 million individuals to estimate the prevalence of HDV by using Der-Simonian Laird random-effects model. The data were further categorised according to risk factors.
From a total of 2717 initially identified studies, only 182 articles from 61 countries and regions met the final inclusion criteria. The overall prevalence of HDV was 0.98% (95% CI 0.61 to 1.42). In HBsAg-positive population, HDV pooled prevalence was 14.57% (95% CI 12.93 to 16.27): Seroprevalence was 10.58% (95% CI 9.14 to 12.11) in mixed population without risk factors of intravenous drug use (IVDU) and high-risk sexual behaviour (HRSB). It was 37.57% (95% CI 29.30 to 46.20) in the IVDU population and 17.01% (95% CI 10.69 to 24.34) in HRSB population.
We found that approximately 10.58% HBsAg carriers (without IVDU and HRSB) were coinfected with HDV, which is twofold of what has been estimated before. We also noted a substantially higher HDV prevalence in the IVDU and HRSB population. Our study highlights the need for increased focus on the routine HDV screening and rigorous implementation of HBV vaccine programme.