Hepatitis Delta Virus: Infection and Disease

  • Bonino Ferruccio
  • Brunetto Maurizia Rossana
  • Rosina Floriano
  • Oliveri Filippo
Conference paper


Hepatitis delta virus (HDV) is a unique defective agent whose infection is inextricably linked to that of hepatitis B virus (HBV) (Rizzetto et al. 1987; Verme et al. 1983). The virion is a 36 nm spherical particle containing hepatitis delta antigen (HDAg) and RNA (HDV-RNA); its envelope consists of a composition of proteins similar to that of 22 nm defective particles of HBV (Bergman and Gerin, 1986; Bonino et al. 1981, 1986a). Transmission experiments in chimpanzees suggest that HDV is a distinct infectious agent but its expression requires the helper function of HBV (Purcell et al. 1983). An infectious inoculum induced HBV hepatitis and intrahepatic expression of HDAg in HBsAg negative chimpanzees up to a 1 × 10−5 dilution whereas a 1 x 10-6 dilution caused only an HBV infection (Purcell et al. 1983). No infection occurred in HBsAg negative chimpanzees using higher dilutions of the same inoculum (>1 × 10−7) while dilutions, up to 1 × 10−11 induced hepatitis with intrahepatic expression of HDAg in HBsAg carrier chimpanzees. Experimental transmission of HDV to chimpanzees showed also that immunity against HBV protects against HDV (Purcell et al. 1983; Rizzetto et al. 1987).


Hepatitis Delta Virus HBsAg Carrier NANB Hepatitis Prog Clin Biol Hepatitis Delta Virus Infection 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bonino Ferruccio
    • 1
  • Brunetto Maurizia Rossana
    • 1
  • Rosina Floriano
    • 1
  • Oliveri Filippo
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of GastroenterologySan Giovanni Battista “Molinette” HospitalTorinoItaly

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