The incidence of hepatitis delta virus (Hep D) infection has decreased during the last decades.
However, an increasing trend has been reported recently.
Dr Carlos Ordieres and colleagues carried out a case–control study to analyze changes in its prevalence in 1215 chronic Hep B virus patients, diagnosed consecutively in a tertiary center, between 1983 and 2012.
According to the year of diagnosis, patients were distributed into 2 groups.
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|European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology|
Group 1 included patients diagnosed between 1983 and 1997, and Group 2 included patients diagnosed between 1998 and 2012.
The researchers found that the prevalence of anti-Hep D virus was 8%.
The team revealed that intravenous drug use, blood transfusion, anti-HIV(+), and high alanine aminotransferase were associated independently with the presence of anti-Hep D virus in Group 1.
In Group 2, it was associated with immigration, intravenous drug use, promiscuous sexual activity, and high alanine aminotransferase.
Dr Ordieres' team concluded, "Although a significant decrease in the prevalence of Hep D virus infection has been observed, it is still above 5%."
"Immigration and sexual transmission have emerged as new risk factors for Hep D virus infection."