Between January 1999 and February 2005, 391 samples, collected from HDV infected patients that were positive in a routine search of HDV RNA detection in serum, were analysed. In the first part of the study (Radjef et al. 2004), we selected 25 patients whose preliminary examination suggested that the HDV viral strains varied from previously described HDV genotypes. Indeed, we selected the 25 samples for which (1) HDV cDNA could not be amplified using previously described primers 6A and 6S (Deny 1994) even though HDV serology was positive or (2)) the RO-DNA amplicon restriction pattern was atypical (Gordien et al., unpublished results, see Fig. 2). Interestingly, 22 samples were obtained from patients from Africa or who had travelled to Africa. The male to female ratio was 0.8 and the mean age was 35 years (range, 15-53 years). Most patients had chronic active hepatitis or cirrhosis and only one patient, aged 33 years, had acute HDV superinfection.

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