Introduction and objectives: Chronic hepatitis D infection contributes substantially to the progression of chronic liver disease, especially in most low and middle-income countries, where hepatitis B virus-related chronic liver disease is endemic. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the magnitude and genotype of hepatitis delta virus (HDV) among patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB)-related liver diseases in Ethiopia. Patients and methods: In this cross-sectional study, 323 known HBsAg positive individuals comprising 220 patients with CHB-related liver diseases [121 advanced liver diseases (hepatocellular carcinoma /HCC/ and non-HCC) and 99 chronic hepatitis (CH)], and 103 symptomless blood donors (BD) were enrolled. An ELISA kit was employed to determine HDV infection, and quantitative real-time PCR was used to detect HDV RNA. In addition, a non-coding genomic RNA region was sequenced for genotyping and phylogenetic analysis. Results: Irrespective of the stage of liver disease, the overall magnitude of HDV was 7.7% (25/323). The frequency of anti-HDV increases with the severity of liver disease, 1.9%, 4%, 10%, and 21.3% among BD, CH, non-HCC, and HCC patients, respectively. HDV RNA has been detected in 1.54 %(5/323) cases with a mean viral load of 4,010,360 IU/ml. All isolates were found to be HDV genotype 1. Conclusion: The magnitude of HDV infection increased with the severity of liver disease, indicating HDV infection is more common among patients with CHB-related liver diseases in Ethiopia.
Annals of Hepatology, Volume 28, 1 January 2023,