Hepatitis delta virus which causes severe acute and chronic liver disease was discovered following the detection of a novel antigen-antibody system in hepatitis B virus carriers. Currently, HDV is classified as a subviral satellite of hepatitis B virus. However, unlike other satellite viruses, the dependence of HDV on HBV is limited solely to the provision of an envelope of hepatitis B surface antigen for virus assembly. Research into the molecular virology of the HDV life cycle has revealed a fascinating collection of biology. These insights are now beginning to be translated into new potential treatment strategies. There are currently still an estimated 15 million HDV carriers worldwide. TOC:Structure and Replication of HDV RNA.- HDV RNA Replication: Ancient Relic or Primer?- HDV Ribozymes.- RNA Editing in Hepatitis Delta Virus.- Post-translational Modification of Delta Antigen of Hepatitis D Virus.- The Role of the HBV Envelope Proteins in the HDV Replication Cycle.- Prenylation of HDAg and Antiviral Drug Development.- Hepatitis Delta Virus Variability: From Genotypes I, II, III to 8 M Major Clades?- Functional and Clinical Significance of Hepatitis D Virus Genotype II Infection.- Immunology of HDV Infection.- The Woodchuck Model of HDV Infection.- Subject Index.
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