Epidemiological and clinical features of hepatitis delta in HBsAg-positive patients by HIV status

Laura A. Nicolini, Lucia Taramasso, Irene Schiavetti, Edoardo G. Giannini, Andrea Beltrame, Marcello Feasi, Giovanni Cassola, Alessandro Grasso, Valentina Bartolacci, Laura Sticchi, Antonino Picciotto, Claudio Viscoli, Giuseppe Ferrea, Alessandra Boldrini, Emilio Azzola, Giovanni Riccio, Roberto Testa, Pasqualina De Leo, Marco Anselmo, Simona MarencoValentina Fazio, Giorgio Sammito, Ferdinando Dodi, Bianca Bruzzone, Caligiuri Patrizia, Vincenzo Savarino, Gianfranco Percario, Stefania Artioli, Silvia Boni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The epidemiology of HBV-associated hepatitis has changed in recent years, especially after the introduction of anti-HBV vaccination, with a consequent decrease in the incidence of HDV-associated hepatitis. However, HDV remains of concern in non-vaccinated people and in immigrants. The aim of this retrospective survey has been to assess prevalence and clinical characteristics of HDV infection in Liguria, a region in Northern Italy, in both HIV-positive and negative patients. Methods: During the year 2010, 641 patients chronically infected with HBV entered an observational study of HBV infection conducted in eight tertiary care centres belonging to the 'Ligurian HBV Study Group'. Results: Of 641 patients, 454 (70.8%) were evaluated for HDV serology and 26 (5.7%) were found positive. Among them, 16 were also HIV-positive and 10 were not. Of the 428 HDV-negative patients, only 313 were tested for HIV and 33 (10.5%) were positive. At the time point of study entry there was no age difference between HIV-positive or negative patients, but HIV-positive patients were 10 years younger than HIV-negative (mean age 34.25 ±6.16 versus 41.50 ±8.89 years; P=0.021) at the time point of their first visit in each centre and they were also more frequently intravenous drug users (P=0.009). Despite a similar rate of cirrhosis in the two groups, no HIV-positive patient received an HDV-active therapy (that is, interferon), versus 4 of 10 HIV-negative patients (P=0.014). Conclusions: HDV infection is still a problem in patients not covered by HBV vaccination. Both HDV and HIV testing were frequently overlooked in our setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-197
Number of pages5
JournalAntiviral Therapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Medicine(all)


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