Also called delta hepatitis, hepatitis D is caused by the hepatitis D virus (HDV). HDV can only infect patients who already carry HBV. Hepatitis D infection is rare in the United States. It occurs primarily in recipients of multiple blood transfusions, including patients with hemophilia or undergoing renal dialysis, and among those who share contaminated needles.
Infection with hepatitis D (HDV) occurs only in patients already infected with hepatitis B. Hepatitis D is spread mainly by contaminated needles and blood. I.V. drug users have a high incidence. The simultaneous infection with HBV and HDV produces more severe illness, and higher rates of long term liver failure, than HBV alone. The disease is usually self-limited, and due to its co-dependence on HBV, hepatitis is effectively prevented via the HBV vaccine.
A virus associated with hepatitis B. It is an opportunistic virus which requires the presence of hepatitis B in order to be expressed.