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PLoS One. 2017 Apr 12;12(4):e0175304. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0175304. eCollection 2017.

Prevalence and genotype distribution of hepatitis delta virus among chronic hepatitis B carriers in Central Vietnam.

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Center for Molecular Biology, Institute of Research and Development, Duy Tan University, Da Nang, Vietnam.
Department of Molecular Biology, 108 Military Central Hospital, Hanoi, Vietnam.
Institute of Tropical Medicine, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.
German Center for Infection Research, Department for Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Endocrinology, Medical School Hannover, Hannover, Germany.
Vietnamese-German Center for Medical Research, Hanoi, Vietnam.
Department of Infectious Diseases, Robert Koch Institute, Berlin, Germany.


Hepatitis D virus (HDV) infection plays an important role in liver diseases. However, the molecular epidemiology and impact of HDV infection in chronic hepatitis B (CHB) remain uncertain in Vietnam. This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate the prevalence and genotype distribution of HDV among HBsAg-positive patients in Central Vietnam. 250 CHB patients were tested for HDV using newly established HDV-specific RT-PCR techniques. HDV genotypes were determined by direct sequencing. Of the 250 patients 25 (10%) had detectable copies of HDV viral RNA. HDV-2 was predominant (20/25; 80%) followed by HDV-1 (5/25; 20%). Proven HDV genotypes share the Asian nomenclature. Chronic hepatitis B patients with concomitant HDV-1 showed higher HBV loads as compared to HDV-2 infected patients [median log10 (HBV-DNA copies/ml): 8.5 vs. 4.4, P = 0.036]. Our findings indicate that HDV infection is highly prevalent and HDV-2 is predominant in Central Vietnam. The data will add new information to the management of HBsAg-positive patients in a highly HBV endemic region to in- or exclude HDV infection in terms of diagnostic and treatment options.

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