Hepatitis delta virus which causes severe acute and chronic liver disease was discovered following the detection of a novel antigen-antibody system in hepatitis B virus carriers. Currently, HDV is classified as a subviral satellite of hepatitis B virus. However, unlike other satellite viruses, the dependence of HDV on HBV is limited solely to the provision of an envelope of hepatitis B surface antigen for virus assembly. Research into the molecular virology of the HDV life cycle has revealed a fascinating collection of biology. These insights are now beginning to be translated into new potential treatment strategies. There are currently still an estimated 15 million HDV carriers worldwide.
Reviews current understanding of Hepatitis delta virus (HDV), which causes severe acute and chronic liver disease
Explores the unique features of HDV, the smallest genome known to infect humans
Surveys recent developments in HDV research
Since its discovery nearly 30 years ago, hepatitis delta virus (HDV) has continued to surprise and fascinate. At 1,680 nucleotides the HDV genome is the smallest known to infect man. It is unique among animal viruses, the closest known relatives being plant viroids. To compensate for its limited protein coding capacity, HDV relies heavily on host functions and on structural features of its circular RNA genome. HDV infection depends on hepatitis B virus as a helper, and increases the severity of liver disease caused by HBV alone. There is currently neither an effective HDV vaccine nor a generally accepted useful therapy for HDV infection. This volume encompasses recent developments in HDV research, from molecular virology to genetics to experimental investigation of new therapeutic and vaccine candidates.
Structure and Replication of HDV RNA.- HDV RNA Replication: Ancient Relic or Primer?- HDV Ribozymes.- RNA Editing in Hepatitis Delta Virus.- Post-translational Modification of Delta Antigen of Hepatitis D Virus.- The Role of the HBV Envelope Proteins in the HDV Replication Cycle.- Prenylation of HDAg and Antiviral Drug Development.- Hepatitis Delta Virus Variability: from Genotypes I, II, III to 8 M Major Clades?- Functional and Clinical Significance of Hepatitis D Virus Genotype II Infection.- Immunology of HDV Infection.- The Woodchuck Model of HDV Infection.- Subject Index