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Clin Ther. 1987;9(6):622-8.

Seroepidemiology of hepatitis D (delta agent) and hepatitis B among Virginia State prisoners.

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Department of Pathology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville.


A serosurvey of hepatitis D (HDV) and hepatitis B (HBV) was conducted in an asymptomatic population of newly incarcerated prison inmates in Virginia. Of 459 men entering the prison, 445 provided both sera and demographic and personal information. Six (1.3%) had antibody to HDV (anti-HDV). Evidence of past infection with HBV was found in 146 (32.8%); 9 (2.0%) were positive for HBV surface antigen (HBsAg). HBV seropositivity correlated with intravenous drug abuse, nonwhite race, and tattoos acquired in prison. Sera obtained after an interval of seven to ten months revealed seroconversion to anti-HDV in one of two HBsAg-positive men who admitted to parenteral drug use while incarcerated. Because he had been incarcerated elsewhere for more than one year before entering this prison, it is concluded that HDV transmission occurred in prison. The association of HDV infection with progression to chronic active and fulminant hepatitis suggests that serologic surveillance of HBsAg-positive inmates may be indicated for identification of possible HDV index cases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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