Coinfection of hepatitis B and hepatitis delta virus in Belgium: A multicenter BASL study. Prospective epidemiology and comparison with HBV mono-infection

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Epidemiological data on hepatitis delta virus (HDV) infection in Belgium are lacking. A multicenter questionnaire-based registry on HDV infection was collated between March 1, 2008 and February 28, 2009. It consisted of patients coinfected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and HDV. The data samples were compared to those of a concurrent registry on HBV infection. Prospective data of patients with HBV–HDV coinfection were collected. Active HBV replication is defined as HBeAg positivity or HBV DNA > 2,000 IU/ml. Forty-four patients from 15 centers were registered. A comparison of 29 patients infected with HDV (registered in the concurrent HBV registry) was made against 785 HBV mono-infected patients. The seroprevalence of patients coinfected with HBV and HDV in Belgium is reported to be 3.7% (29/785), consisting solely of the HBV–HDV coinfected patients in the HBV registry. This rises to 5.5% (44/800) if all patients infected with HDV from the two registries combined are included. The patients coinfected with HBV and HDV had higher (P < 0.05) ALT values and more advanced liver disease (Metavir score ≥F2), but had less active HBV replication and lower HBV DNA titers when compared with the patients infected only with HBV. Additionally, the majority of HBV–HDV coinfected patient was male, and 13.6% (6/44) of the patients that were coinfected HBV and HDV were also infected with HCV. In conclusion, this study provided much needed epidemiological data on the current state of HDV infection in Belgium. J. Med. Virol. 85:1513–1517, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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