Prevalence of Hepatitis Delta in Nigerian Subjects with Chronic Hepatitis B Virus Infectio
Chronic Hepatitis B virus (HBV) carriers are at risk of infection with hepatitis delta virus (HDV) and it is known that co-infection with HDV tends to accelerate the progress of chronic HBV infection to chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis and Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). There is paucity of data as regards the hepatitis delta virus in Nigeria, hence the need for this study. This study assessed the prevalence and risk factors for anti-HDV in subjects with chronic HBV infection. In this study, 93 consecutive patients with HBV associated Chronic liver disease and 93 age and sex matched asymptomatic subjects with chronic HBV infection seen at the Hepatology Clinic and medical wards of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital were screened for IgG anti-HDV antibody after relevant clinical assessment, laboratory and imaging tests were done. Four of the HBV associated CLD patients tested positive for the anti-HDV antibody with a seroprevalence of 4.3% compared with 0% in the asymptomatic carriers. Among the patients who had HBV/HDV dual infection, 3(75%) had chronic hepatitis while 1(25%) had decompensated liver cirrhosis. None of the subjects with HCC tested positive for anti-HDV. The significant risk factor for dual infection with HBV/HDV was a past history of jaundice (P=0.04). In conclusion. although the prevalence of HDV was low in this study, subjects with Chronic Liver Disease were more likely to have HDV than subjects with asymptomatic HBV infection. A past history of jaundice appeared to be a significant risk factor for HDV infection. This suggests that adult patients with chronic liver disease with a past history of jaundice should be evaluated for HDV co-infection.