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HBV/HDV Co-Infection: Epidemiological and Clinical Changes, Recent Knowledge and Future Challenges
Life (Basel). 2021 Feb 22;11(2):169. doi: 10.3390/life11020169.
Caterina Sagnelli1, Evangelista Sagnelli1, Antonio Russo1, Mariantonietta Pisaturo1, Laura Occhiello1, Nicola Coppola1
1Department of Mental Health and Public Medicine, University of Campania "Luigi Vanvitelli", 80131 Naples, Italy.
Several investigations have been published on Hepatitis Delta Virus (HDV) infection in recent years, from which we have drawn the salient data to provide readers with useful information to improve their knowledge on the subject. HDV genotypes 5-8 have been recently imported to Western countries from central Africa, whose clinical relevance deserves further investigation. Ongoing HDV replication has been identified as an independent predictor of progression to cirrhosis and HCC for patients with HDV chronic hepatitis (HDV-CH). Long-term treatments of HDV-CH with standard or pegylated interferon alfa (peg-IFN-α) have all been unsatisfactory, leading to a sustained virological response (SVR) only in 20-30% of patients treated, faced with a poor tolerability and frequent serious adverse reactions; the addition of HBV nucleo(s)tide analogues to peg-IFN- α did not improve the rate of SVR. The improved knowledge of the HDV life cycle has allowed the development of direct acting agents towards key-points of the HDV life cycle, namely bulevirtide, lonafarnib and nucleic acid polymers. Preliminary data have shown that these drugs are more effective than interferon-based therapies, but adverse reactions are also common, which however seem toned down in combination therapy with other antivirals.