Hepatitis D is caused by a defective RNA virus (delta agent) that can replicate only in the presence of hepatitis B virus. It occurs uncommonly as a coinfection with acute hepatitis B or as a superinfection in chronic hepatitis B.
Symptoms and Signs
Acute hepatitis D infection typically manifests as:
- Unusually severe acute HBV infection (coinfection)
- An acute exacerbation in chronic HBV carriers (superinfection)
- A relatively aggressive course of chronic HBV infection
No product exists for immunoprophylaxis of hepatitis D. However, prevention of HBV infection prevents HDV infection