Testing for the hepatitis D virus (HDV) can determine whether a person has a co-infection or a chronic super-infection, as they are two different conditions with different outcomes.
Within 4 weeks after exposure to HDV, a blood test could reveal the presence of “total antibody” to the hepatitis D virus; this is known as an “anti-HDV” test. This would have to be confirmed by a positive hepatitis B blood test since an HDV infection can only occur in the presence of a hepatitis B infection.
Understanding Your HDV Blood Tests
Additional Information about HDV Testing
An anti-HDV blood test would ideally be followed by an HDV RNA test to confirm the presence of the virus. Due to limited availability and lack of standardization, RNA testing has remained uncommon. However, recent advancements have given hope for this type of testing, which may be more readily available in the future to improve diagnosis and tailored treatment and care for those with hepatitis D.
In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and an increasing number of commercial labs offer anti-HDV testing. Lab developed quantitative RNA testing has only recently become commercially available. Currently there is no FDA-approved commercial blood test for HDV. For more information about HDV testing, visit the CDC website.
If you test positive for HDV you should be tested for Hepatitis C and HIV because they have similar routes of transmission.