Hepatitis D
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Hepatitis D

Hepatitis D is caused by the hepatitis D virus. It is a virus-like particle which is dependent on the hepatitis B virus to replicate hence a patient can acquire hepatitis D virus infection at the same time as he/she is infected with the hepatitis B virus. It is endemic to the Mediterranean regions. 



Reservoir
Humans.


Incubation period
Not firmly determined.


Signs and Symptoms
Co-infection (simultaneous acute infection with HBV and HCV). This usually causes a self-limited hepatitis.

Super-infection (HDV infection in a HBV carrier). This often causes a fulminant acute hepatitis that progresses to chronic active hepatitis.


Diagnosis
Blood tests to identify hepatitis D virus antigen or anti-HDV in the serum.


Treatment
Same as for hepatitis B.


Control and Prevention
As with hepatitis B infection.