chapter  6
Combined infections
Pages 12

During hepatitis delta virus replication, the viral genome undergoes a specific nucleotide conversion that changes a uridine to a cytosine at position 1015. This conversion changes the termination codon of the small hepatitis delta antigen and allows RNA translation to continue and so produce the large hepatitis delta antigen. Hence, during replication, the virus changes its genome to allow the production of the inhibitory form of hepatitis delta antigen and then regulates its own replication. The factors that regulate the switch from the small to the large form of hepatitis delta antigen are unknown. Once the hepatitis delta virus RNA has duplicated itself, the new RNA is bound to the hepatitis delta antigen and then packaged into viral particles that are surrounded by the envelope protein of the hepatitis B virus. The virus is then released from the cell using unknown exit pathways.