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Sci Rep. 2018 Aug 2;8(1):11617. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-30078-5.

High prevalence of hepatitis delta virus in Cameroon.

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Infectious Disease Research, Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, IL, USA.
Infectious Disease Research, Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, IL, USA.
Franciscan Institute for Science and Health, Franciscan University of Steubenville, Steubenville, OH, USA.
Department of Hematology, Université de Yaoundé I, Yaoundé, Cameroon.
Laboratoire D'Hematologie, Université des Montagnes, Bangangté, Cameroon.
Laboratory Research Department, Institute of Human Virology, Abuja, Nigeria.


Hepatitis delta virus (HDV), a satellite virus of hepatitis B virus (HBV), infects an estimated 15-20 million people worldwide and confers a greater risk for accelerated progression to liver disease. However, limited HDV surveillance data are available in sub-Saharan Africa where HDV diversity is high. To determine the prevalence and diversity of HDV in Cameroon, serological and molecular characterization was performed on 1928 HBsAg positive specimens selected from retrospective viral surveillance studies conducted in Cameroon from 2010-2016. Samples were screened for HDV antibodies on the Abbott ARCHITECT instrument and for HDV RNA on the Abbott m2000 instrument by research assays. HDV positive specimens with sufficient viral load were selected for genomic sequencing. The seroprevalence of HDV in HBsAg positive samples from Cameroon was 46.73% [95% CI; 44.51-48.96%], with prevalence of active HDV infection being 34.2% [95% CI; 32.09-36.41%]. HDV genotypes 1, 6, 7 and 8 were identified amongst N = 211 sequences, including N = 145 genomes. HDV prevalence is high within the study cohort, indicating that a large portion of HBV infected individuals in Cameroon are at elevated risk for severe hepatitis and death. Collectively, these results emphasize the need for HBV vaccination and HDV testing in HBsAg positive patients in Cameroon.

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