In sub-Saharan Africa, the prevalence of co-infection with hepatitis D (HDV) and hepatitis B viruses (HBV) is poorly known. Chronic infection with HBV is currently treated by nucleoside analogs whereas interferon is used to inhibit HDV. Nevertheless, Hepatitis Delta is not routinely diagnosed in Côte d’Ivoire. This study aims to estimate the current prevalence of Hepatitis D infection among HBV-infected patients in Abidjan to determine whether it is necessary to implement its routine practice in the country. A cross-sectional analytical study was conducted from January 2016 to June 2016 at the Pasteur Institute of Côte d’Ivoire (Abidjan). Patients were screened for Hepatitis D Virus infection through detection of anti-HDV antibodies. A total of 87 patients between 17 and 70 years, including 12 anti-HIV positive, were recruited. A subset of 16 (18.4%) have acute hepatitis B while 71 (81.6%) were chronically infected with HBV. Concerning viral loads, 37 patients (42.5%) displayed values > 1.0 E+05 UI/mL; 22 (25.3%) range between 20 and 1.0 E+05 UI/mL and 28 (32.2%) were undetectable for HBV DNA. Out of these, 20 (22.9%) was positive for anti-HDV. Infection with HDV was not associated with any clinico-pathological variables such as age, gender, disease stage or even HBV DNA loads. The current seroprevalence of anti-Delta antibodies among HBV carriers is high in Abidjan. The study provides important information pledging for the introduction of systemic anti-Delta testing in HBV-infected patients in Côte d’Ivoire.
Key words: Hepatitis D virus, frequency, hepatitis B carriers, Abidjan-Côte d’Ivoire.
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