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J Infect Dis. 1996 Nov;174(5):920-6.

Hepatitis B virus (HBV)/hepatitis D virus (HDV) coinfection in outbreaks of acute hepatitis in the Peruvian Amazon basin: the roles of HDV genotype III and HBV genotype F.

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  • 1Division of Molecular virology and Immunology, Georgetown University Medical Center, Rockville, MD 20852, USA.


Recurring outbreaks of acute hepatitis have been a significant cause of morbidity and mortality among Peruvian military personnel stationed in the Amazon Basin region of Peru. The role of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis D virus (HDV) infection was investigated as the possible cause of acute hepatitis among 88 military patients stationed at four different jungle outposts during 1992-1993. Analysis of serum markers indicated that 95% (84/88) had evidence of acute HBV infection; 64% (54/84) were also infected with HDV. Genetic analysis of PCR-amplified HDV and HBV fragments showed exclusively HDV genotype III and HBV genotype F. Furthermore, HDV RNA sequences were similar among patients from the same outpost but different from those at other jungle locations. The data suggested focal sources of HDV infection in the jungle environment of the outposts and, further, confirmed the unique association of HDV genotype III with severe cases of human disease in northern South America.

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