|other names||hepatitis delta|
|specialty||infectious disease |
|symptoms||feeling tired, nausea and vomiting|
|causes||hepatitis d virus|
|diagnostic method||immunoglobulin g|
|treatment||pegylated interferon alpha|
hepatitis d is a disease caused by the hepatitis delta virus (hdv), a small spherical enveloped virusoid. this is one of five known hepatitis viruses: a, b, c, d, and e. hdv is considered to be a subviral satellite because it can propagate only in the presence of the hepatitis b virus (hbv). transmission of hdv can occur either via simultaneous infection with hbv (coinfection) or superimposed on chronic hepatitis b or hepatitis b carrier state (superinfection).
both superinfection and coinfection with hdv result in more severe complications compared to infection with hbv alone. these complications include a greater likelihood of experiencing liver failure in acute infections and a rapid progression to liver cirrhosis, with an increased risk of developing liver cancer in chronic infections. in combination with hepatitis b virus, hepatitis d has the highest fatality rate of all the hepatitis infections, at 20%.