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Hepatitis D

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Definition

noun

A form of hepatitis that is caused by hepatitis D virus (HDV), which is transmitted parenterally (i.e. via blood, sexual contact, and body fluids) and can propagate only in the presence of hepatitis B virus


Supplement

The inflammation of the liver is called hepatitis. There are many causes of hepatitis and one of them is viral infection. There are five major viruses that are of medical concern: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, hepatitis D, and hepatitis E.

Hepatitis D is a viral hepatitis caused by the hepatitis D virus (HDV) (i.e. from genus Deltavirus), a small spherical enveloped viroid that would propagate only in the presence of hepatitis B virus. It may be during the time of hepatitis B virus infection (coinfection) or later when there is a prior exposure to hepatitis B virus (superinfection). Thus, it is not uncommon that hepatitis D occurs simultaneously with hepatitis B virus infection. Thus, hepatitis D could result in severe complications, e.g. liver failure, and is associated with high fatality rate.

Hepatitis D spreads mainly through contact with contaminated blood and blood products. It may also be transmitted by sexual contact as well as by mother-to-infant route.


Variant(s):

  • virus D hepatitis
  • viral hepatitis type D
  • hep D
  • hepatitis delta

See also: