Hepatitis D virus
Definition of Delta agent (Hepatitis D)
Delta agent is a type of virus called hepatitis D that causes symptoms only in people who also have a infection.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Hepatitis D virus (HDV) is only found in people who carry the hepatitis B virus. HDV may make a recent (acute) hepatitis B infection or an existing long-term (chronic) hepatitis B liver disease worse. It can even cause symptoms in people who carry hepatitis B virus but who never had symptoms.
Hepatitis D may make the symptoms of hepatitis B more severe.
Many of the medicines used to treat hepatitis B are not helpful for treating hepatitis D. See .
Persons with an acute HDV infection usually get better over 2 to 3 weeks. Liver enzyme levels return to normal within 16 weeks.
David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 11/23/2010