Background Hepatitis delta virus (HDV) coinfects with hepatitis B virus (HBV) causing the most severe form of viral hepatitis. However, its exact global disease burden remains largely obscure. We aim to establish the global epidemiology, infection mode-stratified disease progression, and clinical outcome of HDV infection.
Methods We conducted a meta-analysis with a random-effects model and performed data synthesis.
Results The pooled prevalence of HDV is 0.80% (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.63–1.00) among the general population and 13.02% (95% CI, 11.96–14.11) among HBV carriers, corresponding to 48–60 million infections globally. Among HBV patients with fulminant hepatitis, cirrhosis, or hepatocellular carcinoma, HDV prevalence is 26.75% (95% CI, 19.84–34.29), 25.77% (95% CI, 20.62–31.27), and 19.80% (95% CI, 10.97–30.45), respectively. The odds ratio (OR) of HDV infection among HBV patients with chronic liver disease compared with asymptomatic controls is 4.55 (95% CI, 3.65–5.67). Hepatitis delta virus-coinfected patients are more likely to develop cirrhosis than HBV-monoinfected patients with OR of 3.84 (95% CI, 1.79–8.24). Overall, HDV infection progresses to cirrhosis within 5 years and to hepatocellular carcinoma within 10 years, on average.
Conclusions Findings suggest that HDV poses a heavy global burden with rapid progression to severe liver diseases, urging effective strategies for screening, prevention, and treatment.

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The Journal of Infectious Diseases
Rotterdam Institute of Law and Economics

Miao, Z.J, Zhang, S, Ou, X.M, Li, S, Ma, Z.R, Wang, W, … Pan, Q. (2019). Estimating the Global Prevalence, Disease Progression, and Clinical Outcome of Hepatitis Delta Virus Infection. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 221(10), 1677–1687. doi:10.1093/infdis/jiz633