- 1Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA 19111, USA.
Hepatitis delta virus (HDV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) are blood-borne viruses that infect human hepatocytes and cause significant liver disease. Infections with HBV are more damaging when there is a coinfection with HDV. The genomes and modes of replication of these two viruses are fundamentally different, except for the fact that, in nature, HDV replication is dependent upon the envelope proteins of HBV to achieve assembly and release of infectious virus particles, ones that use the same host cell receptor. This review focuses on what has been found of the various ways, natural and experimental, by which HDV particles can be assembled and released. This knowledge has implications for the prevention and treatment of HDV infections, and maybe for an understanding of the origin of HDV.