TTV infection and its relation to serum transaminases in apparently healthy blood donors and in patients with clotting disorders who have been investigated previously for hepatitis C virus and GBV-C/HGV infection in Belgium
Journal of medical virology vol:66 issue:4 pages:561-6
A novel DNA virus, TT virus (TTV), has been proposed as a possible etiologic agent for non A-E hepatitis. The aim of the present study was to determine the prevalence of TTV infection using PCR in healthy blood donors and in patients with clotting disorders who have been investigated previously for GBV-C/HGV and HCV infection in Belgium. In this study, PCR using primers proposed by Takahashi et al. [(1998) Hepatology Research 12:233-239] proved far more sensitive than those used by Okamoto et al. [(1998) Journal of Medical Virology 56:128-132]. The sequence of the PCR products showed 87% identity to the published sequence. TTV was present in 29.7% of healthy blood donors, a figure intermediate between the low rate of infection observed in Scotland and the high rates in the Far East. TTV was detected in 46.5% of 127 patients studied with clotting disorders as compared to 79.5% for HCV and 11.8% for GBV-C/HGV infection. However, there was no impact on the level of serum transaminases. Treatment with interferon for HCV infection co-infected with TTV suppressed temporarily serum TTV DNA. Therefore, it was concluded that TTV DNA is detected frequently in serum of healthy blood donors in Belgium and more often in patients with clotting disorders. TTV does not cause liver disease or contribute to the severity of liver disease.