HIV, Hepatitis B Virus Coinfection Increased Hepatitis D Incidence

This article was reported by Healio.

Healio reported on a retrospective cohort study to investigate whether the prevalence of recent hepatitis D virus (HDV) infection in HIV/hepatitis B virus (HBV)-coinfected patients increased since 1992. The researchers examined 375 HIV/HBV-coinfected patients treated at the National Taiwan University Hospital from 1992 to 2012. They tested the participants' blood for signs of HDV incidence and tested the plasma HDV and HBV viral loads and HBV concentration in individuals with HDV. Researchers also conducted a case-control study to examine the process of HDV seroconversion, using patients who had seroconverted and controls who had not.

Results showed a correlation between recent HDV infection, high aminotransferase and bilirubin level, and elevated rapid plasma. Two of 12 patients who tested positive for HDV had genotype 2 and 10 had genotype 4. The researchers concluded that prevalence of HBV infection has decreased in the developed world due to HBV vaccination, but HDV has increased significantly among HIV/HBV-coinfected individuals since 1992. The researchers suggest that the increase may be related to risk behavior that helps HDV transmission in at-risk persons and immigration from regions with high HBV and HDV incidence.

The full report, "Increasing Incidence of Recent Hepatitis D Virus Infection in HIV-Infected Patients in an Area Hyperendemic for Hepatitis B Virus Infection," was published online in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases (2014; doi: 10.1093/cid/ciu127).