Mem Inst Oswaldo Cruz, Rio de Janeiro, VOLUME 114 | JULY 2019
Molecular epidemiology of Hepatitis delta virus infection in Minas Gerais state from Brazil, an area outside the hyper endemic region of the Amazon basin [ACCEPTED ARTICLES / PRELIMINARY VERSION]
1Faculdade de Farmácia, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brasil
2Instituto Octávio Magalhães, Fundação Ezequiel Dias, FUNED, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brasil
3Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brasil
4Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, FIOCRUZ, Porto Velho, RO, Brasil
Hepatitis D virus (HDV) infections in HBV carriers are the most severe form of viral hepatitis. HDV prevalence is high in the Brazilian Amazon, but studies in other regions of the country are still scarce. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of hepatitis D and to evaluate the associated risk factors for acquisition of HDV in Minas Gerais, Brazil. For this, we screened plasma samples from HBV chronic carriers for anti-HD antibodies, and the prevalence was 6.2% (31/498). Blood transfusion was the only risk factor associated with HDV infection. For 26 anti-HD positive patients, HDAg gene sequences were determined and in all patients HDV genotype 1 was found. This study confirmed the circulation of HDV in Minas Gerais, an area previously considered nonendemic for hepatitis D in Brazil. These findings emphasize the importance of anti-HD testing in HBV infected individuals, which may contribute to this disease control in Brazil.