1Global Hepatitis Programme, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland. firstname.lastname@example.org.
2Department of Gastroenterology, Kanazawa University and WHO Collaborating Center for Chronic Hepatitis and Liver Cancer, Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan. email@example.com.
3Global Hepatitis Programme, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.
4Department of Gastroenterology, Kanazawa University and WHO Collaborating Center for Chronic Hepatitis and Liver Cancer, Kanazawa, Ishikawa, Japan.
5Department of Gastroenterology, Ankara University School of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey.
6Hepatology Institute, University of Ankara, Ankara, Turkey.
Background: Co-infection between hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis delta virus (HDV) causes the severest chronic hepatitis and is associated with a high risk of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The Global Health Sector Strategy on Viral Hepatitis called for the elimination of hepatitis (- 65% mortality and - 90% incidence) by 2030. Our aims were to summarize key points of knowledge and to identify the gaps that need to be addressed to mount a public health response to HDV.
Methods: We performed a current literature review in terms of epidemiology by WHO regions, genotypes distribution and their pathogenicity, factors associated with HDV infection, mortality due to HDV infection, testing strategies and treatment.
Results: Prevalence of infection and genotypes are heterogeneous distributed, with highest prevalence in foci around the Mediterranean, in the Middle East, and in Central, Northern Asia and Eastern Asia. Persons who inject drugs (PWID) and migrants from highly endemic areas are highly affected. While antibody detection tests are available, HDV RNA tests of current infection are not standardized nor widely available. The few therapeutic options, including lofartinib, are not widely available; however several new and promising agents have entered clinical trials.
Conclusion: HDV infection is an poorly known cause of chronic liver disease. To mount a public health response, we need a better description of the HDV epidemic, standardized testing strategies and better treatment options.