Infection with delta agent in Sweden: introduction of a new hepatitis agent

B G Hansson, T Moestrup, Anders Widell, E Nordenfelt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To investigate the epidemiology of infection with delta (delta) agent in a Swedish city, 181 chronic carriers of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and 599 patients with acute, self-limited hepatitis B were analyzed for delta antigen and antibody to delta antigen (anti-delta). The study covered the period from 1970 to 1981. The delta agent was found to have been introduced to this population in 1973. Markers of infection with delta agent were almost exclusively found in intravenous drug addicts and their close contacts. The proportion of drug addicts who were chronic HBsAg carriers with anti-delta increased with time and reached 72% in 1979-1981. An episode of acute hepatitis was frequently seen in connection with seroconversion to anti-delta. Among the domestic cases of acute, self-limited hepatitis, no simultaneous infections with hepatitis B virus and delta agent were found before 1975. From 1975 to 1980, between 18% and 44% of the drug addicts with acute hepatitis B were also infected with delta agent.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)472-478
JournalJournal of Infectious Diseases
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1982

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Infectious Medicine


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