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Hepatitis delta virus and hepatocellular carcinoma: an update

  • Raffaella Romeo (a1), Arnolfo Petruzziello (a2), Eve Isabel Pecheur (a3), Floriana Facchetti (a1), Riccardo Perbellini (a1), Enrico Galmozzi (a1), Najeeb Ullah Khan (a4), Lucia Di Capua (a2), Rocco Sabatino (a2), Gerardo Botti (a2) and Giovanna Loquercio (a2)...

Hepatitis delta virus (HDV) is a defective RNA virus that depends on the presence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) for the creation of new virions and propagation of the infection to hepatocytes. Chronic infection with HDV is usually associated with a worsening of HBV infection, leading more frequently to cirrhosis, increased risk of liver decompensation and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) occurrence. In spite of a progressive declining prevalence of both acute and chronic HDV infection observed over several years, mainly due to increased global health policies and mass vaccination against HBV, several European countries have more recently observed stable HDV prevalence mainly due to migrants from non-European countries. Persistent HDV replication has been widely demonstrated as associated with cirrhosis development and, as a consequence, development of liver decompensation and occurrence of HCC. Several treatment options have been attempted with poor results in terms of HDV eradication and improvement of long-term prognosis. A global effort is deemed urgent to enhance the models already existing as well as to learn more about HDV infection and correlated tumourigenesis mechanisms.

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Corresponding author
Author for correspondence: Arnolfo Petruzziello, E-mail:
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