Epidemiology of delta infection in Spain

M. Buti, R. Esteban, R. Jardi, H. Allende, J. M. Baselga, J. Guardia

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The prevalence of hepatitis D virus infection was studied in 954 sera samples collected in Spain between 1974 and 1986 from 838 patients in a variety of epidemiological categories with HBsAg‐positive liver disease, and from 116 haemophiliacs and drug addicts with hepatitis B antibodies. Hepatitis D markers were detected in 64% of drug addicts and 33% of HBsAg‐positive haemophiliacs but were absent in asymptomatic chronic carriers, homosexual males, mentally retarded patients and haemodialysis patients. Hepatitis D markers were found in 6% of patients with acute hepatitis, in 5.6% of those with chronic hepatitis B from general population, and in 65% of those with acute hepatitis B and 67% of those with chronic hepatitis B among drug addicts. During the 12‐year study, no changes were observed in the frequency of Delta infection. The prevalence was less than 10% in chronic HBsAg‐positive hepatitis. These findings indicate that in Spain Delta infection is restricted mainly to HBsAg‐positive drug addicts and multitransfused haemophiliacs, while in the general population only 6.7% of those with chronic hepatitis B show D superinfection. Anti‐HD sera detection is correlated with more severe forms of chronic hepatitis such as chronic active hepatitis and cirrhosis. Copyright © 1988 Wiley‐Liss, Inc., A Wiley Company
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-332
JournalJournal of Medical Virology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1988


  • Delta infection
  • epidemiology
  • Spain


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