Prevention and Management
Since HDV is dependent on HBV, preventing the transmission of B will prevent the
spread of D. Happily, there is an effective vaccine for HBV, which can
essentially end B/D coinfection. However, there is no vaccine to HDV, so there
is no way to prevent patients who are already chronically infected with
Hepatitis B from contracting HDV in a superinfection. The only way to prevent
infection in these patients is through education and cautious behavior and
practices. Treatment for chronic HDV infection is not extremely effective.
Interferon-a has been used to induce remission of
symptoms, but the patients remaind seropositive for HDV. In addition, extremely
high doses are needed to have any effect. Other antiviral treatments have not
proved effective and currently the only treatment for fulminant hepatitis and
end stage cirrhosis is a liver transplant, which has an 88% survival rate.