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Current prevalence of hepatitis delta virus (HDV) infection and the range of HDV genotypes in Lebanon



Recently the prevalence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotypes and the association between these genotypes and the clinical status of HBV-infected patients were recently investigated in the Lebanese population. The aim of the additional study reported here was to determine the current prevalence of hepatitis delta virus (HDV) infection and the range of HDV genotypes in this Lebanese population. Two hundred and fifty-eight HBsAg-positive patients (107 asymptomatic blood donors, 92 with chronic hepatitis, 24 with cirrhosis, 15 with hepatocellular carcinoma, 20 patients on haemodialysis) from ten medical centers in Lebanon were tested for antibody to hepatitis D virus (anti-HDV). Those testing positive were analysed further for HDV-RNA and for genotyping by reverse transcriptase–polymerase chain reaction (RT–PCR) and restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP). Three samples (1·2%) were anti-HDV positive and out of these, only one was HDV-RNA positive (0·6%) and was analysed as HDV genotype I. Our results point to a low endemicity of HDV in the Lebanese population which is in sharp contrast to data reported from Lebanon 20 years ago and to the situation in neighbouring Arab and non-Arab countries in the Mediterranean region. HDV genotype I seems to be the predominant genotype in Lebanon and the Middle East

Topics: Research Article
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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