|| Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid
The hepatitis delta virus (HDV) causes the most aggressive form of chronic viral hepatitis. As HDV replication requires hepatitis B virus (HBV), HDV screening is limited to HBsAg+ carriers. To date, individuals with HDV-antibodies and markers of resolved hepatitis B are considered cured. However, a subset shows elevated liver enzymes and hepatic fibrosis. Could they represent HBsAg-seronegative occult HDV infections?We tested for HDV-antibodies 406 individuals with markers of past HBV exposure.Overall, 20 (4.9%) were reactive for HDV-antibodies. All were negative for serum HDV-RNA, including four with elevated liver enzymes.These results support the current policy of screening for hepatitis delta only in HBsAg+ individuals.