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Transfusion. 2001 Aug;41(8):1001-7.

Quantitative and genotypic analysis of TT virus infection in Chinese blood donors.

Author information

  • 1Department of Clinical Oncology, Sir Y.K. Pao Centre for Cancer, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, China.



The TT virus (TTV) is a member of a newly described family of human viruses related to the C ircoviridae viruses. Its association with specific diseases has not been established, and screening of blood donors has not been implemented. To date, 16 genotypes have been identified.


Sera from 471 healthy blood donors (aged 11-58 years) were randomly selected and tested for TTV by the use of two sets of primers: NG59d/NG61d/NG63d primers and T801/T935 primers. Quantitative competitive PCR (QC-PCR) was developed to measure the TTV DNA concentration among the blood donors. Sequencing of a part of the genome was performed to identify the various genotypes. Several samples showed a mixed genotype infection.


TTV was detected in 251 (53.3%) of 471 healthy Hong Kong blood donors by the use of NG59d/NG61d/NG63d primers. The prevalence of the virus increased steadily with age (p = 0.03). TTV DNA was detected in 90 percent (90 of a randomly selected 100) of samples by the use of T801/T935 primers. TTV DNA concentration was also measured by QC-PCR in the blood donors who were positive for TTV DNA in the first round of the heminested PCR. TTV titers ranged from 4.8 x 10(2) copies per mL to 6 x 10(4) copies per mL, with a median value of 1.2 x 10(4) copies per mL. Sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of a 223-bp fragment from open reading frame 1 showed three main genotypes (G1 [60.7%], G2 [24.3%], and G3 [14%]) and a new genotype 17 (G17), with the latter bearing 60-percent nucleotide homology with other genotypes deposited at GenBank. In addition, a new TTV subtype, G2f, was found.


The prevalence of TTV is high in healthy Chinese blood donors. Three main genotypes (G1, G2, and G3) were detected. In addition, a new TTV genotype, tentatively designated as G17, and a new subtype, G2f, were identified.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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