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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Prevalence and genotype distribution of TT virus in various specimen types from thalassaemic patients.

Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), plasma, saliva and urine samples were collected from 50 thalassaemic patients for TT virus (TTV) detection by two sets of PCR. The set B nested PCR was more sensitive than the widely used NG hemi-nested PCR with TTV positive rates approximately PBMC: 98% vs. 70%; plasma: 92% vs. 66%; saliva: 62% vs. 22%; urine: 22% vs. 6%. All 50 patients had TTV detected in one or more specimens, with 16% of patients being positive in all four specimen types: 40% positive in PBMC, plasma and saliva; 30% positive in PBMC and plasma. In 82 NG hemi-nested PCR-positive samples TTV genotype was identified, 68.3% had a single genotype, 25.6% had multiple genotypes and 6.1% were uncharacterized. The positive rates for genotypes by specimen were: G1 (36/82), G2 (49/82), G3 (2/82), G4 (7/82), G5 (1/82) and G6 (3/82). Among the 42 patients for whom the genotype was examined, 42.9% had single-type infection, 45.2% had co-infections and 11.9% had uncharacterized genotypes. Sixteen of them had TTV detected both in PBMC and plasma with seven having identical genotypes in both samples. Eight patients had TTV detected in PBMC, plasma and saliva; two of them harboured identical genotypes in all three samples. The results indicate that, apart from hepatocytes, PBMC is a major cell type for TTV infection occurs. Shedding of TTV in urine and saliva is common and may have a significant role in nonblood-borne transmission among the general population. TTV-infected patients often harbour multiple genotypes suggesting infection with one genotype does not necessarily confer protection against the others. No correlation between TTV infection and liver dysfunction was observed.[1]


  1. Prevalence and genotype distribution of TT virus in various specimen types from thalassaemic patients. Chan, P.K., Chik, K.W., Li, C.K., Tang, N.L., Ming, M.S., Cheung, J.L., Ng, K.C., Yuen, P.M., Cheng, A.F. J. Viral Hepat. (2001) [Pubmed]
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