Published online Dec 27, 2013. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v5.i12.666
Revised: November 6, 2013
Accepted: November 15, 2013
Published online: December 27, 2013
Core tip: A scarcity of literature about the hepatitis D virus (HDV) life cycle and pathogenesis is clearly evident. Severity of HDV associated liver disease and lack of an efficient treatment regime therefore warrant urgent research into HDV biology. Virus entry inhibitors and isoprenylation inhibitors may play a role in preventing HDV superinfection and liver cirrhosis. As inhibition of interferon-α signaling by HDV plays a pivotal role in failure to clear the virus, testing interferon-free treatment regimens should undergo clinical trials. A low degree of heterogeneity in hepatitis delta antigen encourages the development of a vaccine using its immunogenic sequences.