Objective: To estimate the prevalence of hepatitis D in HBsAg (hepatitis B surface antigen) positive patients visiting liver clinics.
Methodology: All HbsAg positive patients who had visited two liver clinics; in Karachi and in Jacobabad, from October 2007 to March 2008, were included in this study. These patients were tested for HBV DNA and HDV RNA by PCR technique, HBeAg and anti-HDV. Clinical status of the patients was evaluated by examination, routine biochemical tests and ultrasound.
Results: Total numbers of patients included in the study were 362 comprising of 151 patients from the clinic in Jacobabad and 211 from Karachi. The patients ranged from 4 to 70 years age (mean age 29.75 ±11.27). Out of the total patients 297 (82%) were males. All the patients were screened for HDV antibody out of which 212 (58.6%) tested positive. Total 65 anti-HDV positive patients were tested for the HDV RNA by PCR, out of which 30 (46.2%) tested positive for the virus. Three hundred and forty (340) patients were screened for HBeAg, out of which 71 (20.9%) tested positive. Three hundred and seven patients were screened for HBV DNA by PCR, out of which 88 (28.7%) were positive for the virus. HBV DNA was positive in 16.2% of HbeAg negative patients (pre-core mutants). The frequency of positive HDV antibody was 69.23% in patients from Kashmore, 67% in Jacobabad, 65.4% in Jaffarabad, 65.21% in Quetta, 60% in Naseerabad, 36.58% in Karachi, 58.33% in other areas of Balochistan and 60.71% in other areas of Sindh. Positive HDV antibody status was associated with more severe and advanced disease (p<0.0001)
Conclusion: This data shows extremely high prevalence of hepatitis D in the referred patients from some areas of Southern Pakistan. Effective preventive measures are the need of the hour and Pakistan may be considered as one of the areas of highest HDV prevalence around the globe (JPMA 59:434; 2009).
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/javedyakoob/47/