Hepatitis D (hepatitis delta) is a disease caused by the hepatitis delta virus (HDV).
Both superinfection and coinfection with HDV result in more severe complications compared to infection with HBV alone. These complications include a greater likelihood of experiencing liver failure in acute infections and a rapid progression to liver cirrhosis, with an increased risk of developing liver cancer in chronic infections. In combination with hepatitis B virus, hepatitis D has the highest fatality rate of all the hepatitis infections, at 20%.
The routes of transmission of hepatitis D are similar to those for hepatitis B. Infection is largely restricted to persons at high risk of hepatitis B infection, particularly injecting drug users and persons receiving clotting factor concentrates. Worldwide more than 15 million people are co-infected. HDV is rare in most developed countries, and is mostly associated with intravenous drug use. However, HDV is much more common in the immediate Mediterranean region, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and the northern part of South America.