Definition | delta-hepatitis | future health

L’hepatitis delta, or hepatitis D, is a inflammation of stockage ;épuration ;synthèse.
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which affects 15 to 20 million people worldwide; is not very common in France and is the cause of the most serious form ofchronic hepatitis. Like other forms of hepatitis, delta hepatitis is a liver disease characterized by inflammation. Initially acute, it can progress to chronic hepatitis if the infection exceeds six months.

The infection is caused by hepatitis delta virus (HDV), the smallest virus known to infect animal cells. When HDV replicates in hepatocytes (liver cells), the immune system attacks cells infected with the virus, causing inflammation of the liver.

Hepatitis B and delta: coinfection or superinfection

Hepatitis delta virus is said to be a satellite. In order to replicate, it needs the presence of another virus: Hepatitis B (HBV). Therefore, a person cannot be infected with delta hepatitis without previously having been infected with hepatitis B. Transmission of HDV is similar to that of HBV: it can occur perinatally (duringBirth), blood or sexual.

HBV and HDV infection can be simultaneous (this is called co-infection) or delayed when HDV infection occurs later (this is called superinfection). About 5% of people infected with hepatitis B are also infected with hepatitis D.

The prognosis differs greatly depending on cases of coinfection or superinfection. In case of co-infection, the infection becomes chronic in less than 5% of cases, and the two viruses usually end up being eliminated. In case of HDV superinfection, the disease becomes chronic in 80% of cases.

In its acute phase, delta hepatitis, like most hepatitisIt is minimally symptomatic. When she is, her symptom are associated with a flu-like state: fatigue, vomiting, headaches, efforts muscles and joints, sometimes jaundice. When it becomes chronic, like hepatitis B, delta hepatitis can become cirrhosisor in carcinoma hepatocellular — that is, in aluminum cancer.

Delta hepatitis accelerates progression to cirrhosis

Its dangerousness comes from the fact that delta hepatitis accelerates the progression of the disease. Evolution towards liver cirrhosis occurs almost 10 years faster in the case of delta hepatitis than in the case of hepatitis B monoinfection, due to mechanisms that are still poorly determined.

Factors that cause chronic delta hepatitis to progress faster include excessive alcohol use alcoholHIV infection, or a metabolic syndrome.

Current treatments for chronic delta hepatitis are not yet very effective and have significant and poorly tolerated side effects. if a vaccine against HDV does not exist, that against the hepatitis B virus remains the most effective means of preventing hepatitis D.

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