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Virol J. 2011 Sep 4;8:420. doi: 10.1186/1743-422X-8-420.

True prevalence of twin HDV-HBV infection in Pakistan: a molecular approach.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, Hazara University Mansehra, Pakistan.


Hepatitis Delta Virus (HDV) infects only patients that are already infected by hepatitis B virus (HBV) because this is sub satellite virus which depends on and propagate only in the presence of HBV. HDV causes co-infection or super infection with sever complication as compared to only HBV infection. No study on molecular level on HDV is available from this region; therefore, the aim of this study was to found out the molecular epidemiology of HDV (as a co-infection with HBV) in different geographical regions of Pakistan.Total 228 HBsAg positive samples were received for the study from different geographical regions of the country. Only HBV DNA PCR positive samples were further utilized for the presence of HDV RNA. For this purpose, HDV RNA and HBV DNA was extracted and amplified using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), nested PCR and real-time PCR. Out of the total 228 HBsAg positive samples, HBV DNA was detected in total 190 (83.3%) samples belonged to different patients. Of these 190 patients, HDV RNA was observed in 53 (28%) patients. Of the 53 HDV positive cases, 37 (69.8%) were males and 16 (30.2%) were female patients. The percentage of dual infection was found higher significantly (p < 0.05) in male patients as compared to female patients. Total 41 (26.8%) patients were below 40 years and 13 (31.7%) were above 40 years of age. No significant difference was seen in patients with ages above or below 40 years. In the provinces of Sindh, Khyber Pakhtoonkhaw and Punjab the observed prevalence of HDV was 67%, 6% and 4% respectively.In conclusion, the HDV infection is not uncommon in Pakistan and its prevalence is higher significantly in the Province of Sindh (p < 0.01) and male six (p < 0.05).

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