The hepatitis delta virus (HDV) is distributed worldwide and related to the most severe form of viral hepatitis. HDV is a satellite RNA virus dependent on hepatitis B surface antigens to assemble its envelope and thus form new virions and propagate infection. HDV has a small 1.7 Kb genome making it the smallest known human virus. This deceivingly simple virus has unique biological features and many aspects of its life cycle remain elusive. The present review endeavors to gather the available information on HDV epidemiology and clinical features as well as HDV biology.
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