Incidence / Epidemiology
Epidemics of HDV infections have been described in the Amazon Basin, the Mediterranean Basin and Central Africa.
Two epidemiologic patterns of hepatitis D infections exist: in Mediterranean countries infection is endemic among HBV carriers, and the virus is transmitted by close personal contact. In Western Europe and North America, HDV is confined to persons exposed to blood or blood products, like e.g. intravenous drug addicts sharing unsterilized injection needles.
There is a decreasing prevalence of both acute and chronic hepatitis D in the Mediterranean area and in many other parts of the world, which has been attributed to a decline in the prevalence of chronic HBsAg carriers in the general population.10
No vaccines exist against HDV; however, vaccination against HBV of patients who are not chronic HBV carriers, provides protection against HDV infection.