Contrasting prevalence of delta hepatitis markers in parenteral drug abusers with and without AIDS

Mary Jeanne Kreek, Don C. Des Jarlais, Christian L. Trepo, David M. Novick, Abu Abdul-Quader, Jayanthi Raghunath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Parenteral drug abusers are the second largest group at risk for developing AIDS (25% of US cases) and a major risk group for infection with both hepatitis B virus (HBV) and the HBV-dependent RNA hepatitis delta virus (HDV). This study was conducted to determine the prevalence in 1984–1985 and relationships of HDV and HBV infections in 372 unselected parenteral drug abusers without AIDS or symptoms related to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV1) infection (but 49% of whom were positive for HIV-1 antibodies) and in 53 drug abusers hospitalized with AIDS. The prevalence of HDV markers in the combined study groups was 20%;81% of study subjects with hepatitis B surface antigenemia (HBsAg) had one marker for HDV infection. Significant differences were found between patients with and without AIDS with respect to the prevalence of hepatitis delta antigen (5.7% vs. 0.8%, P<.05) and antibody (0 vs. 21.4%, P <.01) and HBsAg (15.1% vs. 5.1%, P <.05). The significantly higher prevalence of hepatitis delta antigen and HBsAg in subjects with AIDS suggests that persistence or reactivation of these viruses is significantly greater among parenteral drug abusers with AIDS than among those without AIDS. These findings, along with the absence of hepatitis delta antibodies in the drug abusers with AIDS, are probably related to the profound general immunosuppression that occurs in AIDS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)538-541
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Contrasting prevalence of delta hepatitis markers in parenteral drug abusers with and without AIDS'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this