Hepatitis D

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Chapter 6 : Hepatitis D

Topics covered in this snack-sized chapter:

Hepatitis D arrow_upward

  • Hepatitis D, which is caused by the hepatitis D virus (HDV), is a disease that infects the liver.
  • It's similar to the other hepatotropic viruses because it causes liver inflammation and produces similar symptoms, but HDV is unusual.
  • It can only infect someone who has hepatitis B because it's a "defective virus."
  • HDV doesn't have the necessary viral equipment to replicate itself, so to get around this problem; HDV depends on the hepatitis B virus (HBV) for replication, which is the process of making copies of itself.

  • Symptoms arrow_upward

  • Hepatitis D includes following symptoms:
    • Flu-like symptoms
    • Fever
    • Fatigue
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Loss of appetite
    • Abdominal pain
    • Diarrhea
    • Jaundice
    • Yellow eyes
    • Yellow skin

    Causes arrow_upward

  • There are many ways to contact HDV (hepatitis D Virus). Some include:
    • Using intravenous (IV) drugs/ contaminated needles
    • (Possibly) sexually
    • Contaminated blood
    • Razors
    • Toothbrush
    • Nail clippers

    Transmission arrow_upward

  • Hepatitis D can be found in the blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and other body fluids of infected persons.
  • Transmission happens when infected body fluid enters another person's body, but hepatitis D will not remain in the body unless hepatitis B is also present.
  • The virus is most commonly transmitted in the same ways that hepatitis B is transmitted:
    • Sex with an infected partner
    • Contact with the blood of an infected person
    • Sharing of needles, syringes, razors, or toothbrushes with an infected person
    • Maternal-infant transmission during childbirth

    Prevention arrow_upward

  • Although there is no vaccine for hepatitis D, an effective vaccine does exist for hepatitis B.
  • Since hepatitis D cannot survive without hepatitis B, getting vaccinated against hepatitis B will protect you from both strains.
  • However, the hepatitis B vaccine is only effective at preventing co-infection, not super-infection.
  • If you already have hepatitis B, other prevention strategies will help you avoid hepatitis D.
  • You can prevent hepatitis D and other blood-borne illnesses like hepatitis C and HIV by avoiding these high-risk behaviors:
    • Sharing intravenous drug paraphernalia
    • Having unprotected sex
    • Sharing personal care items with a person who has hepatitis D, especially those items that may have trace elements of blood on them, such as razors or toothbrushes

    Treatment arrow_upward

  • Although many people who are exposed to hepatitis D are able to get rid of the virus, some people can develop chronic hepatitis D.
  • This may lead to liver damage, liver cancer, and even death.
  • There are no drugs that are approved to treat a chronic hepatitis D infection.
  • There is some indication that certain medicines used to treat hepatitis B may be effective against hepatitis D.
  • Among these medicines are alpha interferon and pegylated alpha interferon.
  • However, there is no consensus on how much of these medicines should be used and for how long.
  • It is also not known if these medicines change the natural course of the disease.
  • For people with severe liver disease caused by hepatitis D, liver transplantation has been shown to be effective.
    • Hepatitis D does return in a person who has had a liver transplant, liver injury is usually limited.
  • In fact, the prognosis for liver transplantation in people with hepatitis D is better than the prognosis for liver transplantation in people who have hepatitis B without hepatitis D.

  • Thank You from Kimavi arrow_upward

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