Hepatitis Delta Virus (HDV): Infection and Disease

  • P. Farci
  • M. Rizzetto
Part of the Proceedings in Life Sciences book series (LIFE SCIENCES)


First described in Italian patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection (Rizetto et al. 1977), the delta antigen was initially considered a variant of HBV. Characterization studies in chimpanzees have instead shown that it is the internal component of a new and unique hepatitis agent, which has peculiar biological features, and requires the assistance of HBV to replicate (Rizzetto et al. 1980a). The delta agent has been recently renamed hepatitis delta virus (HDV), the internal antigen (HD-Ag) and the antibody evoked in infected hosts anti-HD (Jacobson and Dienstag 1984). The clinical significance of the new pathogen is now evident on a global scale; the HDV represents an important etiologic agent responsible for severe forms of hepatitis (Rizzetto 1983).


Hepatitis Delta Virus HBsAg Carrier Hepatitis Delta Virus Infection Delta Antigen Delta Infection 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Farci
  • M. Rizzetto
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of GastroenterologyMolinette, TorinoItaly
  2. 2.Clinica Medica IUniversity of CagliariItaly

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